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Co-worker saves man's life for the second time

Co-workers save man's life on two separate occasions with CPR.
Credit: KUSA
New medical coding system takes effect

TELLURIDE - A man who went into sudden cardiac arrest while at work twice was saved by co-workers on two separate occasions.

On Monday, the 55 year-old Nucla man was finishing work on a construction site in Mountain Village when he collapsed suddenly. Co-workers who found him say he was not breathing and did not have a pulse.

They immediately began CPR and called 911. Emergency responders arrived within a few minutes and administered two defibrillator shocks and multiple rounds of CPR.

On the way to the hospital rescuers had to shock the man's heart again. Following that shock, he was responsive and speaking with EMS providers.

"This is a great example of why bystander CPR is so important. Without immediate, quality chest compressions, our EMS team would likely not have been able to save him," said Telluride Fire Protection District Paramedic Brad Blackwell.

In August 2012, the same man collapsed and was found by some of the same co-workers unresponsive and not breathing. During that incident, they also performed life-saving CPR.

"Estimates of survival from an out of hospital cardiac arrest are around 10 percent," Telluride EMS Medical Director Dr. Diana Koelliker said. "Survival after a second out of hospital cardiac arrest within a few years is even more rare, especially in such a small community as Telluride with many of the same coworkers, EMS providers and physician involved both times."

Following this weeks's incident, the patient was treated at the Telluride Medical Center Emergency Department, and was flown to St. Mary's Hospital for specialized care.

The patient, who does not want his name released, spoke with an EMT who provided care during both of his cardiac events.

"You guys all did great. I don't know how you pulled it off all the way up there on that mountain, but you did great," he said.

(© 2015 KUSA)