Sunday, April 22, 2018
Health

Trailside death inspires Tampa lawyer to bring CPR classes to work

TAMPA

Last Friday, Bill Sansone finally took a CPR course. He wishes he'd done it sooner.

In August, the 40-year-old lawyer was hiking alone on a remote trail in the North Carolina mountains when a frantic hiker ran up to him, screaming for help. A man had collapsed on the trail and needed CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

Sansone, armed only with what he remembered hearing in a radio interview about CPR, rushed to help others try and revive the man during the 45 minutes it took paramedics to arrive.

Unfortunately, the 35-year-old man died on the trail.

"You think, maybe if I'd had training the outcome may have been different," said Sansone.

He shared his story in an email to fellow employees at the State Attorney's Office in Tampa shortly after he returned from North Carolina, writing:

"I truly thought that we were going to save him that day. I looked at his face and tried to will him to wake up. Later, after he had passed, I asked him to forgive me, because I was not able to save him.''

In the email, Sansone offered to bring a CPR class to the office, and his colleagues agreed. With the support of Judge Paul Jeske of the 13th Judicial Circuit and State Attorney Mark Ober, he organized a series of training sessions for courthouse employees. The classes were coordinated by Aaron Block, a dual degree medical student in the colleges of medicine and public health at the University of South Florida. Block had heard about Sansone's experience from Jeske's son, a physician and recent USF grad.

Block works with USF's Center for Advanced Clinical Learning, which provides CPR and basic life support training for health professionals and the community. So many courthouse employees signed up, the center offered several classes on site.

"I think it's great that employees get to come on company time,'' Block said.

Last Friday's session brought together 16 courthouse employees with seven USF staffers, including two retired Tampa firefighters, and plenty of adult and infant mannequins. An American Heart Association video introduced each technique and Block offered more explanation and answered questions. The USF staffers and firefighters provided one-on-one assistance. The points repeatedly made were:

• You don't have to provide mouth-to-mouth breathing.

• Chest compressions — 100 a minute — are the most important part of CPR and they must be delivered with force.

"Those compressions are what keeps the person alive until the next link in the chain of survival arrives,'' Block explained.

For some, all of this was new. Jeske, 62, said he'd never learned CPR, but was inspired by Sansone's email.

Tony Julian, 53, an assistant state attorney in the juvenile division, learned CPR back in the '70s when he was a lifeguard.

"After reading Bill's email I would feel guilty if I didn't know what to do, since we had the opportunity to learn," he said, noting that a lot had changed about CPR since his lifeguard days.

His colleague Jareh Kelly, 36, was trained in CPR while in the military, but hasn't refreshed her skills since 2006. "You never know when you'll need it," she said.

And Winter Hartman, a 22-year-old legal secretary, took CPR in high school, but wanted to brush up for her next career. "I plan to one day become a deputy, so as much training as I can get the better," she said.

Sansone still thinks about Corwith Davis, the Louisiana man who died on that mountain trail. Davis' family has told him about the doctor who doubts anyone could have saved him from his massive heart attack. Sansone takes some comfort in that. But he takes even more in knowing that he and his colleagues will be better prepared for the next emergency.

Irene Maher can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Do not eat any romaine lettuce, the CDC warns

Do not eat any romaine lettuce, the CDC warns

Public health officials are now telling consumers to avoid all types of romaine lettuce because of an E. coli outbreak linked to the vegetable that has spread to at least 16 states and sickened at least 60 people, including eight inmates at an Alask...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida has hit a milestone of sorts as it slowly moves toward wider availability of medical marijuana.The number of patients in the state who are registered to use the substance has surpassed 100,000 for the first time, according to Florida Departme...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida Hospital Carrollwood spending $17.5 million to expand emergency department

Florida Hospital Carrollwood spending $17.5 million to expand emergency department

Florida Hospital Carrollwood is expanding its emergency department. The hospital, 7171 North Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa, is spending $17.5 million to add 15 new private treatment rooms, new pediatric rooms and waiting areas, and new technology, acco...
Published: 04/18/18
Barbara Bush’s end-of-life decision stirs debate over ‘comfort care’

Barbara Bush’s end-of-life decision stirs debate over ‘comfort care’

As she nears death at age 92, former first lady Barbara Bush’s announcement that she is seeking "comfort care" is shining a light — and stirring debate — on what it means to stop trying to fight terminal illness.Bush, the wife of former President Geo...
Published: 04/17/18
Preparing for the worst, staffers at Johns Hopkins All Children’s learn through simulation

Preparing for the worst, staffers at Johns Hopkins All Children’s learn through simulation

When the patient got violent, Dr. Michelle Hidalgo didn’t have time to think. She had to react. The woman was moving strangely and seemed erratic. Hidalgo had to make a tough call — it was time to physically restrain her for everyone’s safety.Then th...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Lung cancer patients live longer with immune therapy

The odds of survival can greatly improve for people with the most common type of lung cancer if, along with the usual chemotherapy, they are also given a drug that activates the immune system, a major new study has shown.The findings should change me...
Published: 04/16/18
Thousands of pounds of prepackaged salad mixes may have been tainted with E. coli, officials say

Thousands of pounds of prepackaged salad mixes may have been tainted with E. coli, officials say

A Pennsylvania food manufacturer is recalling 8, 757 pounds of ready-to-eat salad products following an E. coli outbreak that has spread to several states and sickened dozens of people.Fresh food Manufacturing Co., based in Freedom, Pennsylvania, is ...
Published: 04/15/18
St. Anthony’s Cancer Center installs bell dedicated to survivors

St. Anthony’s Cancer Center installs bell dedicated to survivors

ST. PETERSBURGSister Mary McNally, vice president of mission at St. Anthony’s Hospital, stood in front of a room of cancer survivors to unveil a silver bell surrounded by butterfly stickers mounted to the wall of the Cancer Center lobby. "So often pe...
Published: 04/13/18
Hand dryers could leave your hands dirtier than you think

Hand dryers could leave your hands dirtier than you think

Washing your hands after you use the bathroom is a good idea. But using a public dryer could undo all that hard work, according to a new study.A study, published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, examined 36 men’s and women’s bat...
Published: 04/13/18
Meek and Mighty Triathlon draws the young (siblings who are 7, 9 and 11) and not so young

Meek and Mighty Triathlon draws the young (siblings who are 7, 9 and 11) and not so young

The annual St. Anthony’s Triathlon has for years attracted elite athletes from around the world, making the St. Petersburg race one of the premier triathlon events in the country. There’s a big incentive to run fast, swim hard and be the best on a bi...
Published: 04/13/18