BRAMPTON, ON (Feb 6, 2017) - A Mississauga dentist had the chance to thank the paramedics and firefighters who saved his life, a year after his heart stopped beating in his dental office
On Monday, Feb. 6, Dr. Jeffrey Kirshenbaum from Erindale Dental Centre had a special reunion with Peel Paramedics Justin Migchels, Ty Pilkey, Jennifer Ralph, and Petar Salinovic; and Mississauga Firefighter Tim Shuff.
In December 2015, Dr. Kirshenbaum collapsed and went into sudden cardiac arrest just as he arrived at work. First responders were by his side within minutes.
"Every time I see my grandchildren, I say 'I almost wasn't here'. It is because of what you did that I'm here today. I can't thank you enough," said Dr. Kirshenbaum.
Thanks also went to the staff at Erindale Dental Centre, who were spurred into action when they found their colleague on the floor: a fellow dentist did mouth-to-mouth, other staff took turns doing chest compressions, while others called 911 and started using an AED (automatic external defibrillator).
“Reunions like this one are made possible because of people like the staff at Erindale Dental Centre, whose quick thinking and willingness to act saved a life. By performing CPR and using an AED, they made our job much easier," said Paramedic Chief Peter Dundas.
When someone is in cardiac arrest, performing CPR and using an AED within the first few minutes is critically important. Survival rates for sudden cardiac arrest are highest when a defibrillator shock is given within the first three minutes of collapsing.
“If someone is unconscious, and it doesn't look like they're breathing, call 911 and send someone to get an AED," said Chief Dundas. “You don't need any medical experience to use an AED. All you do is push the power button and the machine will guide you through the process. It will even coach you through basic CPR."
Peel Regional Paramedic Services and The City of Mississauga are collaborating to ensure AEDs are available to as many residents and visitors as possible by placing these life-saving devices in areas people frequent the most - for example, in all publically-accessible Region of Peel buildings, Mississauga community centres, swimming pools and recreation facilities.
As February is Heart Month, all residents are encouraged to learn where the closest AEDs are in their neighbourhoods and to be prepared to use one in an emergency. Businesses or organizations interested in acquiring an AED or in registering an existing AED with the Region of Peel can contact Peel Regional Paramedic Services at 905-791-7800 or peelregion.ca/paramedics/ for more information.