DENVER (KDVR) – Lynn Blake collapsed. Her heart stopped beating. She was just 27 years old.
Luckily, a woman was nearby who had just learned how to perform CPR. That woman sprung into action and helped save her life. Paramedics happened to be in a station across the street and used an automated external defibrillator – an AED — to shock her heart and restart it.
That was 16 years ago. Since then, Blake has spent years encouraging people to learn how to perform CPR.
“If you are standing there just watching waiting for somebody else to respond, that person’s chances of survival are decreasing by the moment,” Blake said from her home in Eagle-Vail.
She said that when she heard about Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffering cardiac arrest, it brought back bad memories.
CPR, AEDs help save lives during cardiac arrest
Denver Health paramedics told FOX31 that CPR and AEDs go hand in hand.
Paramedic Chase Lindquist said he has used CPR and an AED many times before. Chest compressions, he said, pump blood to a body’s organs when a person’s heart has stopped.
“All we are trying to do is to keep that oxygenated blood moving to the brain and then to the heart itself to keep those organs oxygenated until we are able to apply electricity,” Lindquist said.
That electricity comes from an AED. Lindquist said it provides a current that can restart the heart.
CPR and AEDs, he said, are always used together.
“CPR is not what brings a person back. CPR keeps their organs alive until the electricity can actually restart your heart to then bring them back to life,” Lindquist said.
Lifesaver had just learned CPR
Back in Eagle-Vail, what happened to the NFL star brought back bad memories for Lynn Blake. The person who saved Blake had just learned how to perform CPR.
Blake is now hoping many more people take lessons on the lifesaving technique credited with saving lives. If you would like to sign up to learn CPR through Denver Health, click here.
The American Heart Association says CPR can double or triple the chances of survival after a heart attack. About 90% of people who have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest die, and 70% of these incidents happen in people’s homes.