cardiology lecture doctors save life during event boulder community healthBCH cardiologists jump off stage to revive a man in cardiac arrest

Some would call it amazing luck, others would dub it a miracle—a man attending a public lecture on treating irregular heartbeat went into cardiac arrest at the program and was revived by the cardiologists presenting the talk.

Last Tuesday, April 16, Drs. Srini Iyengar, Bryan Mahan and Sameer Oza of Boulder Heart were conducting a lecture on atrial fibrillation—a potentially dangerous abnormal heart rhythm—in the auditorium of the Longmont Museum.

In the middle of their presentation, a woman stood up and calmly stated that the man next to her wasn’t feeling well. The man, who wasn't identified, then passed out and slumped over in his seat.

Without hesitation, Drs. Iyengar and Oza jumped off the stage to help the man, while Dr. Mahan called 9-1-1. Audience members quickly made way for the doctors as they lifted the man out of his seat and carried him to the side of the auditorium.

The doctors checked the man for a pulse but felt nothing, indicating he was in cardiac arrest. Within seconds, Dr. Iyengar began performing hands-only CPR compressions.

A cardiac arrest occurs when an electrical malfunction makes the heart beat irregularly, causing a person to lose consciousness. Death can occur within minutes if the victim doesn’t receive treatment. But if there’s someone nearby who knows how to perform CPR, that person's chance of survival doubles or triples.

“After Dr. Iyengar started administering CPR, the man’s pulse returned and became stronger. He soon regained consciousness,” Dr. Oza said. “It was the best possible situation for this man. Had he not decided to attend our lecture, he wouldn’t have had cardiologists available to treat him in seconds. The situation could’ve turned out very differently.”

Wendy Driscoll, who was at the lecture, said, “It was incredible seeing firsthand what these doctors must do every day.”

Now for the other interesting part: The amazing incident wasn’t a show-stopper. The audience stayed seated through the CPR and arrival of paramedics. After the paramedics left with the patient, the doctors, unfazed, returned to the stage to finish their presentation.

“I guess it was all in a day’s work for BCH cardiologists,” Driscoll said.