Man Has Heart Attack During Cardiac Lecture

June 29, 2011

LEWISTON, Maine --A man from Winthrop was definitely in the right place at the right time when he suffered a hea rt attack Monday.

71-year old Ralph Cornette was at a dinner and lecture on heart health at Central Maine Medical Center when suddenly, he says, he felt hot, blurry and short of breath. He raised his hand and told the doctor giving the lecture that he thought he was having a heart attack.

Dr. William Phillips, and cardiac nurses Nicola Adams, Brenda Robitaille and Heidi Langlois quickly realized Cornette wasn't joking, and they saved his life with CPR and with a defibrillator that was on site.

Cornette said, "The wonderful angels that were around me came in for my rescue. God provided. I could have been anywhere in the world."

Both Cornette and the three nurses that came to his rescue say his story is a good reminder that you should call 911 immediately if you are at all suspicious that you might be having a heart attack.

Cornette may have been at the right place at the right time, with doctors and nurses and lifesaving equipment at his side.

These days, you don't have to be a doctor to save a life. New Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) make it possible for even non-medical personnel to restore heart rhythm and life. An AED is a machine that can monitor heart rhythms. It can tell if the heart has stopped beating effectively. If required, the machine can then advise the operator to deliver an electric shock to the heart. Most of the time, along with CPR, this shock will restart the heart.

About 40,000 Canadians experience cardiac arrest every year. Thatís one cardiac arrest every 12 minutes.

Early CPR and early defibrillation improves survival rates by up to 75% if delivered in the first few minutes. With each passing minute, the probability of survival declines by 7% to 10%. Getting trained in CPR and making defibrillators easily accessible has the potential to save thousands of lives. Contact CPR Network of Canada for more info.