MILFORD CT Feb 28 2011 — A man who went into cardiac arrest while dining at a mall restaurant was saved by quick-thinking bystanders and security guards using a portable defibrillator, officials said Friday.
The 35 year-old man was eating lunch at the Red Robin restaurant in the Westfield Connecticut Post mall last Saturday when his heart stopped, said Capt. Chris Zak of the Milford Fire Department. When the customer collapsed, restaurant manager Curtis Kilburn called 911 and the mall security office.
Two bystanders began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the man, who had no pulse or heartbeat, Zak said. Jeanne DeMello, a nurse, and Mark Kipstein, an off-duty New York City firefighter, started the chest compressions within moments of the man’s collapse.
Security guards Brian Carlson and Michael Todd used the portable defibrillator to deliver one measured shock that returned the man’s heart to a normal rhythm, Zak said.
Mall spokesman Greg Udchitz said Friday that the mall owns at least two of the units, and the security guards and other Westfield personnel are trained in how to use them as well as in basic first aid and CPR. “It is very rare that we see a medical emergency like this, where we get to use our training,” he said.
Milford Fire Department paramedics arrived within four minutes, Zak said, and provided advanced life support services and oxygen. The man, who was not identified, was transported by ambulance to Milford Hospital.
All city buildings are also equipped with the Automatic External Defibrillators, which can assess the amount of electric current a patient needs to jolt his heart’s ventricular defibrillation. The life-threatening condition often keeps a person’s heart from effectively pumping blood, officials said.
The equipment and training is one of the reasons that Milford was recently designated a Heart Saver Community by the American Heart Association, Zak said. “This type of action and response shows that lives can be saved when all of the factors are in place and performed in a timely fashion,” he said. “It is only because of the actions of all of these individuals that this man is alive today.”