She remembers doing chest compressions for about three minutes. The trainer returned with the AED just as the first responders arrived at the scene. Gina quickly explained the situation to them and said their eyes widened and they took action, cutting off Jose’s jersey and placing the AED electrodes on his chest.
The tampon read an irregular heartbeat and the doctors started shocking her heart.
“It was surreal,” Gina said. “I’ve seen a lot of things in my career and I’ve seen a lot of trauma in my residence, but when it’s your child it’s a whole different thing. I kept telling myself ‘we’re not going to die today.’ “
After the shocks, José came back. He was groggy, but he knew his name, what day it was and where he was. The whole ordeal lasted about 20 minutes, but it felt “like a year,” Gina said.
Jose was taken to the emergency room at Watsonville Community Hospital, where he was stabilized and examined by Packard Children’s pediatrician Peter Rowinsky, MD, who arranged for Jose’s transfer to the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at the Packard Children’s Hospital. Through a partnership between the two hospitals, Packard Children’s doctors can serve as hospitalists at Watsonville Hospital. Rowinsky is also a Clinical Assistant Professor of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine.
“Many victims of commotio cordis do not survive,” said Kathleen Ryan, MD, a cardiac intensivist who admitted Jose to the cardiovascular intensive care unit. The victims are mainly men under the age of 20, when the chest wall finishes developing.
“Commotio cordis causes ventricular fibrillation in victims. CPR is not enough because the heart trembles about 400 to 1,200 times per minute,” said Ryan, clinical assistant professor of pediatric cardiology at the medical school. must administer an electric shock that defibrates the trembling heart and brings it back to a normal rate, and statistically, this shock must occur quickly, within a few minutes. In Jose’s case, the quick action his mother took in performing the CPR and ordering the transfer of the AED has made all the difference in the world.
All of Jose’s follow-up tests were normal, and doctors don’t predict any long-term damage.
Lynda Knight, MSN, RN, director of Stanford Children’s Health’s REVIVE initiative for excellence in life support, said it was a reminder of the power of life support education.
“Evidence shows that if a bystander performs immediate CPR, the outcome will be better. Paramedics take an average of four to eight minutes to arrive, and for every minute that a person goes without chest compressions, their chances of survival are reduced by 10%.
Every second counts, and knowing what to do can be the difference between life and death.
The REVIVE initiative has trained thousands of people in the community in witness CPR and offers its CPR training program to hospitalized parents upon discharge.
As for the Agredanos, the event changed their lives for everyone.
“I will never take anything for granted again,” said Jose Jr. “The last thing I saw before I passed out was my parents’ face. I know how lucky I am.
“We have seen hundreds of games and seen hundreds of hits to the head and chest. We never thought it was possible, ”said Jose Sr.“ My wife was the hero. She was calm and efficient. I am so grateful that she is here.
For the sports community, Gina said it is a reminder of how essential it is to immediately assess an injured player. “Every second counts, and knowing what to do can be the difference between life and death,” she said.
“If this happens to someone next to me on the pitch, now I know what to do,” said Jose Jr. “But I want all of my friends to know that too.”
“My job as a doctor, my training, that’s not what saved him,” said Gina. “Knowing the signs that call for the administration of CPR, accessible to all, is what saved his life. “