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Life saving efforts rescue Ideal 18 sailor
Team McLube

 



The Publisher
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Feb 22, 2011, 5:05 PM

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This is a recap of an event that happened Sunday, February 20, 2011 while the Ideal 18 fleet was frostbiting outside of Black Rock Harbor on the Long Island Sound.

During the downwind leg of the third race, competitor Russell Dunleavy collapsed in brisk conditions of about 15-17 knots. His sailing partner Chris Gill, who was aware that Russell has a heart condition, immediately called for a chase boat which arrived quickly just after another Ideal sailed by Betsy Sorenson came along side. Betsy is a registered nurse who along with Chris commenced CPR.

Russell has had a heart condition for some time and carries nitro pills. Russell was unresponsive and was transferred to the chase boat and brought to Fayerweather Yacht Club (Bridgeport, CT) where he was further treated (defribbed, etc) and transferred to an ambulance to Bridgeport Hospital. The committee boat had called 911 and an ambulance was waiting at the dock.

Russell has made it thus far. He had four complete blockages hit while on the water. The doctors have said everybody's efforts saved him, and were certain that if his heart hadnít been massaged the whole way back into the dock he wouldn't have made it. Apparently one of the blockages was opened by compressing him. He is now being stabilized for quadruple bypass surgery.

This reinforces that we can't predict things out there. Here were some of the discussion items following the incident:

- Anyone sailing that carries medication that may be required should make it aware to your sailing partner and make its location known to them. Fortunately, Chris knew this which helped him immediately realize the seriousness of the situation.

- Having two people on a chase boat was critical in saving Russell. Having a nurse on the water was vital too.

- Encouraging CPR certification within racing fleets.

- Carrying onboard horns or whistles might be needed to expedite initial assistance in stronger winds or larger race courses.

If not for the efforts by Chris Gill and Betsy Sorenson, and Charlie Gulotta and Greg Wykoff on the chase boat, this day of frostbiting could have turned out much worse.

Thanks to Cliff Crowley and Bill Sandberg for helping with this story.

- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt




btrotta
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Feb 23, 2011, 6:01 AM

Post #2 of 5 (16875 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Life saving efforts rescue Ideal 18 sailor [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply


In Reply To
This is a recap of an event that happened Sunday, February 20, 2011 while the Ideal 18 fleet was frostbiting outside of Black Rock Harbor on the Long Island Sound.

The doctors have said everybody's efforts saved him, and were certain that if his heart hadnít been massaged the whole way back into the dock he wouldn't have made it. Apparently one of the blockages was opened by compressing him. He is now being stabilized for quadruple bypass surgery.


- Encouraging CPR certification within racing fleets.

Nice job by everyone involved. That last point is the most important one of all. CPR saves lives. You can have all the doctors and medical equipment in the world, but if CPR isn't started immediately, and performed correctly, there is almost always only one outcome. Everyone who sails should take a CPR class. Skippers, get your crew together on a weekend before the season starts and take the class together. It's a great team building exercise. Then go out and have some beers and trade old stories and talk about your plans fo the upcoming season. It's only 8 hours out of your life. But it could extend someone else's life (or even your own) by many years. That's an investment worth making.


Wetabix0947
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Feb 23, 2011, 11:55 PM

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Re: [btrotta] Life saving efforts rescue Ideal 18 sailor [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

An excellent 'rescue' and brilliant performance by those involved............but. It is hard enough to get enough rescue crews and race officers as it is, I think it is unreasonable to say that rescue crews 'ought' to include a qualified nurse and team members who have done a cpr course. Sure, it's a good thing to do as part of the club's training program but I don't think it's fair on the race team to say they have to be prepared for someone with a quadruple cardiac blockage to have a heart attack several miles from shore. We had a similar incident with an asthma attack some years ago and for a while we crippled ourselves with over-prescriptive rescue qualifications such that we could hardly organise a race. It is up to the person with the medical condition to provide a chase boat with the necessary medical back up - or to take the risk; it's his choice.


The Publisher
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Feb 28, 2011, 6:47 AM

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Re: [Wetabix0947] Life saving efforts rescue Ideal 18 sailor [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

* From Scott Boye, Friday Harbor:
Iíve got to vehemently disagree with Wetabix0947 regarding the CPR story in Scuttlebutt 3284. The statistics are clear; average citizens with CPR training save lives. According to the American Heart Associationís website,

- Studies have repeatedly shown the importance of immediate bystander CPR plus defibrillation within 3-5 minutes of collapse to improve survival from sudden VF cardiac arrest.
- In cities such as Seattle, Washington, where CPR training is widespread and EMS response and time to defibrillation is short, the survival rate for witnessed VF cardiac arrest is about 30 percent.
- In cities such as New York City, where few victims receive bystander CPR and time to EMS response and defibrillation is longer, survival from sudden VF cardiac arrest averages 1-2 percent.

Nobody plans on having a heart attack, but it happens. In fact, itís the largest killer of people in the demographic that are out sailing - us middle-aged folks that work stressful jobs and go sailing to relax.

It only takes a few hours to get the training and the chances of saving a crewmateís life increase dramatically. Iíve had opportunity to perform CPR and it scared the hell out of me, but there is a person alive today because of the training. As Iíve slipped into middle age I realize that nowadays itís more likely that Iíll be on the receiving end.

A few weeks ago a group of us took the CPR class at the local EMS station. It was a good refresher for those of us that had taken the class before and it had the side effect of being a team building exercise.

Take the class; be thankful youíve had the training. By the way, I live north of Seattle and the survival rate in San Juan County is over double that of Seattle. Yet another reason I prefer living here.


amy001
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Mar 25, 2011, 8:32 PM

Post #5 of 5 (16237 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Life saving efforts rescue Ideal 18 sailor [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

When the couple were all rooting for, it's nice to see them grow up, marry and begin their journey to become parents. And for those who wanted





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