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‘…Sudden Cardiac Arrest often Picks the Least Likely Victims.’

CPR is important to know, even if you or your family is younger and athletic.

by
Helen Smith

Bio

July 15, 2012 - 5:48 am

A reader sent me an article about sudden cardiac arrest in those who seem healthy and athletic:

Athletic, healthy, fit –– sudden cardiac arrest often picks the least likely victims. Just ask Marla Sewall.

By 2011, the 42-year-old had 11 marathons under her belt. She’d also made quite the name for herself on the tennis court. By Labor Day weekend, the University Park mother was even combining the two, running 20 miles one day and then competing in a three-hour tennis tournament in the next.

For good measure, Sewall ran 10 miles the day after that and played in the same tennis tournament for three more hours. Which is why it was so shocking when her husband found her face-up unconscious in the family’s tub one night.

This woman’s husband luckily knew CPR and saved her life. I often think how important it is to keep up with these skills. The last time I had a CPR class was probably 15 years ago. I need a refresher. If you are reading this, perhaps you need one also. I am lucky that, like the woman described in the story, I have a built in defibrillator in my chest, but most people don’t. Saving a loved one’s life is certainly worth the time to take a course or there are even CPR books, CDs and products that might be helpful or if you want to be even more prepared, you can even buy your own defibrillator. Even if you or your family seems fairly young and healthy, it’s good to be prepared.

Helen Smith is a psychologist specializing in forensic issues in Knoxville, Tennessee, and blogs at Dr. Helen.
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