New London CT Jan 19 2017— A Connecticut College campus security officer may have saved a life Tuesday when he used an automatic external defibrillator device on a colleague who was having a heart attack.
Eric Roode, who has worked for the college for almost 11 years, responded to a call in a campus dorm Tuesday morning. There he found a 68-year-old man, another employee of the college, showing signs of a heart attack.
The college several years ago had installed multiple AEDs, automated external defibrillators, which restore normal heart rhythm to people having a heart attack. Roode said he has gone through regular training to use them, but never found himself in a situation where he could use one to save someone’s life. The devices used in public places deliver audible instructions for the user.
“I felt pretty confident,” he said. “It pretty much walks you through.”
New London Fire Department Battalion Chief Edward Sargent said an ambulance and fire engine arrived shortly after Roode used the AED to deliver two shocks to the man, and was administering CPR.
New London emergency personnel took over, and on their way to the hospital, the man began breathing and regained a pulse. By Tuesday evening he was awake and talking, Sargent said.
A doctor told Sargent that the two shocks that Roode gave the man’s heart with the AED were the reason he’s alive.
Connecticut law requires higher education institutions to have at least one AED on campus, and at least one person trained to use it. Sargent said he supports putting AEDs in as many public places as possible, especially considering that they are a relatively inexpensive piece of equipment that can save a life.
“They’re getting more and more common,” he said. “Ask this gentleman’s family how much they’re worth.”
Roode said a paramedic came back to campus after the man was taken to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital to tell him that the man had survived.
“I was just thrilled to know,” Roode said. Roode said he worked as a welder at Electric Boat before he was laid off and went to work in security, first for the Mohegan Tribe and later at Connecticut College.
“Every day you have to be prepared, and we are,” he said. “I felt good.”
The American Heart Association recommends that people do exactly what Roode did when someone is having a heart attack, Sargent said.
“The two of them together — the CPR and the shock ... greatly increased this patient’s probability of surviving,” Sargent said.