When Allan Muise, a project officer in the Office of Research Facilities, took CPR training at NIH a few months ago, he had no idea that he would soon be employing his life-saving lessons.
On the morning of Mar. 9, while walking to a Metro station with his wife, Muise came upon a woman lying motionless on her back on the sidewalk. “As we approached, one man was talking on a cell phone and said desperately, ‘Just send somebody quick!’ Someone else said, ‘We didn’t find a pulse.’ A third woman was on her knees, trying to give chest compressions to the victim, but it was obvious that she didn’t know what she was doing.”
Muise said the victim appeared lifeless. “When we see people, they have a healthy glow in their skin,” he said. “The victim had no such glow. The body almost looked like a hunk of clay, totally motionless.”
He began giving chest compressions, during which the body jerked several times. “I yelled, ‘Are you okay?’ but I didn’t expect to get an answer. After giving about 40 chest compressions, I put my cheek down by the victim’s mouth, and I felt a warm, moist breath coming out.”
Muise later found out from the Rockville Fire Department that the woman had suffered cardiac arrest, spent 4 days in the ICU and later went home.
Muise now gives motivational speeches at NIH CPR training sessions. He said the victim has indicated that she wants to get in contact with those who helped her.
“I would be very pleased to meet her,” Muise said. “The [Rockville] fire department expressed an interest in using me to promote CPR and I told them that I was more than willing.”
The CPR training course Muise took is called NIH Lay Responder AED/CPR Training and is available at www.ors.od.nih.gov/sr/dohs/HealthAndSafety/aed/Pages/AED-and-CPR-Training-.aspx.