UW-Whitewater Police Department Saves Faculty Member’s Life

 

Feb. 4, 2015

By Alexandria Zamecnik

 

The UW-Whitewater Police Department can now add a new achievement to its wall: successfully using an automated external defibrillator (AED), an emergency response device that provides care to cardiac arrest victims, and CPR to save a professor’s life.

Officer Joshua Kuehl was dispatched to Laurentide Hall at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 26 to assist with a male who had collapsed. Patrolling in a nearby parking lot, Kuehl was able to respond almost immediately. The officer brought his medical bag into the building and found the patient unresponsive and without a pulse.

A second officer, Kelsey Servi (pictured above), arrived on scene. By the time Servi got to the scene, Kuehl had already begun putting the AED on the patient. After initial analyzing, the AED told the officers “shock advised,” which indicates that a shock is required. After the first shock the officers began CPR, one performing compressions and the other breaths.

“We went through a whole cycle of it for approximately two minutes and the AED advised to shock the patient again, which we did,” Servi said. “We still had no pulse or no breathing.”

After the AED reanalyzed, it said, “no shock was advised.” This prompt can mean the victim has now regained a pulse or is pulseless but not in a ‘shockable’ rhythm: two very different situations.

“We were able to get a faint pulse on the wrist, but we didn’t have regular breathing,” Servi said. “…Eventually we were able to get some sort of breath and a decent pulse.”

Shortly after the victim regained a pulse, Whitewater Rescue arrived on the scene and took the patient to a hospital in Janesville.

“It looks very promising,” said Chief of Police Matthew Kiederlen. “The individual appears to be healthy and OK at this point.”

In December of 2006, a female student fainted in class. The victim had no pulse and was unresponsive. UW-W Athletic Director, Amy Edmonds performed CPR until Athletic Trainer Steve Hillmer brought an AED to the scene. The student’s life was saved.

Kiederlen has served UW-Whitewater since 2007 and in the eight years he has worked at UW-W he said this is the first documented AED save since the police department has started to train the public.

All sworn UW-W police personnel are trained as instructors in CPR, AED and First Aid. The department provides this training to the students, staff, faculty and even community members for free.

“I think this whole situation demonstrates how important of a life-saving tool an AED is,” Kiederlen said. “We really encourage [everyone] to take advantage of these free courses we offer. We want to train as many people as possible, because none of us know when you might be faced with this type of situation.”

Officer Servi said her CPR and AED training just kicked in during the incident.

”It was pretty intense,” Servi said. “It can be scary too. We’re not medical professionals. We’re just first responder trained. We just usually control the scene until the medical professionals get there. We actually had to get hands on.”

The training is available to students, faculty and staff by signing up for the courses at my.uww.edu. Classes are currently available for Feb. 6, Mar. 12, April 16 and many other dates. The community can sign up for these courses by completing a training request form found at uww.edu/adminaffairs/police/defibrillators

“Having the ability to help is far, far better than standing around and not knowing what to do,” Kiederlen said.

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