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AED used on collapsed woman Wednesday in front of City Hall

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
December 8th, 2016

Some people enroll in a First Aid or CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) course or learn about employing an AED (automated external defibrillator) and never need to use their knowledge in an emergency situation.

Thankfully Deana Postnikoff remembered everything she learned during AED training.

Shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday, while returning to work from taking a late lunch, the City of Nelson employee witnessed a person in distress and jumped into action.

Eyewitnesses at the scene said the driver of the vehicle drove up onto the sidewalk before returning to the highway and stopping on the road in front of Kootenay Insurance Services on Ward Street.

“When I was returning to work from taking a late lunch I saw this guy from the (Ward & Vernon) intersection banging on a car that was parked across the highway saying, “lady you have to unlock the door . . . you have to unlock the door,” Postnikoff recalled Wednesday afternoon.

“The driver was trying to get out but had locked the door of the vehicle.”

Before Postnikoff could get to her own car to retrieve a window hammer to smash the glass, the man had already grabbed a jack breaking the rear window to unlock the door.

He opened the driver’s side door and immediately commenced chest compressions on the woman.

That signaled Postnikoff to run to City Hall where she knew there was an AED on the ground floor of the building.

“When I got back, we quickly got the AED cycling, exposed the woman’s chest to place the pads and administer a shock,” Postnikoff explained.

Postnikoff said members of the Nelson Fire Department arrived on the scene in a matter of minutes after the AED was administered. Two members removed the woman from the vehicle and immediately began chest compressions before giving oxygen.

Nelson Police attended the scene to direct traffic at one of the most-busiest parts of the city.

EHS transported the woman to Kootenay Lake Hospital.

It has been well documented the importance of an AED especially considering the average response time for emergency personal is 10-15 minutes.

Experts say the first defibrillation should take place 3-5 minutes after the heart attack, which gives bystanders the opportunity to perform defibrillation outside the hospital within that time frame.

The sooner CPR and defibrillation are performed, the higher the chances of survival.

Postnikoff said City of Nelson just installed the life-saving apparatus on the first floor last year, and provided AED training to three staff members.

Postnikoff was quick to lauded the quick thinking of Vinnie  (last name unknown), the man who arrived first on the scene.

“If is wasn’t for him stopping . . .. He just had a gut feeling something was wrong and really worked hard to get into the car to help the woman.”

Ironically, Postnikoff will join other staff members next week at a Level I First Aid course provided to City employees.

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