In medical emergencies, seconds can mean the difference between life and death.
Students with Oxford High School’s robotics team (TORC 2137) made every second count when they faced a medical emergency, according to team mentors and emergency personnel.
In early February, Oxford Fire Department emergency medical technicians came to the high school to give TORC 2137 students a crash course on Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of automated external defibrillator (AED) machines, which is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm.
Just three short weeks later, the students were forced to put their new knowledge and skills to the test when one of the team’s mentors collapsed and became unresponsive at a Feb. 16 event.
It was at this point that the robotics students calmly assessed the situation and sprung into action to get their mentor the help he needed, according to TORC 2137 Mentor Mary Hanser.
One student called 9-1-1, while another grabbed the AED machine as a precaution, Hanser said. Fortunately, the AED did not need to be activated and CPR was not needed because the mentor was breathing and had a pulse.
Since the event had been taking place within the high school cafeteria, several robotics students also stood in the doorways leading to the place of the incident with flashlights, helping to guide the medical personnel to where they were needed.
The students’ quick response could have saved the life of their mentor, according to Fire Capt. B.J. Stapp.
“They did a stellar job taking what they were taught and putting it into practice. They handled everything perfectly. They had the AED on the patient and calling 9-1-1 is the best thing to improve the odds of survivability. If more people do that right away then we’ll have better outcomes,” Stapp said. “The team did awesome. We showed up and we were so impressed. They didn’t need to do CPR, but they went over all the steps for emergency response correctly.”
The mentor who collapsed was hospitalized for several days and has since fully recovered and been released.