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“They were dead” – two men suffer cardiac arrests in the Cork City Marathon

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The medics who were in part responsible for saving the lives of two Cork City marathon runners who suffered cardiac arrests while participating in Sunday’s race, have shared details surrounding the events that unfolded.

When a man on the South Link Road leg of the race suffered a cardiac arrest, volunteers from the Cork City Civil Defence were the first on the scene. They were shortly followed by a St John’s ambulance advanced paramedic and a volunteer emergency medical technician, along with critical care paramedic from West Cork Rapid Response, Alan Barry.

Pre-hospital emergency medicine and critical care retrieval physician at Cork University, Dr Jason van der Velde also happened upon the scene while running in the marathon.

The man was defibrillated and revived and was transported to Cork University Hospital by Civil Defence members.

The quick responses by medical volunteers and emergency services saved the man’s life.

The rapid actions of staff at the Maldron Hotel on the South Mall also helped to save the life of a second man who had participated in Sunday’s marathon.

The man was reported to have already collected his race medal and was at the hotel when he suffered a cardiac arrest.

Emergency services were called as staff members commenced CPR and used the hotel defibrillator on the man after he collapsed.

Mr. Barry and two volunteers from St Johns Ambulance arrived on the scene along with other emergency service members including ambulance and firefighting services.

The man was resuscitated and transferred to hospital.

Mr. Barry said, “The positive outcomes go to show the importance of first aid training in the community, and the huge team efforts involved in preserving life.”

Dr Van der Velde said had it not been for the actions of volunteer medics on the course, and the actions of emergency services, in both cases the men would have died.

“These men’s’ hearts stopped. They were dead,” Dr Van der Velde said. He added,

“We need to show appreciation to these medical volunteers and reward them with more training.”

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