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Canada Day emergency turned into full recovery

It’s not unusual to find crowds around Wascana Lake on Canada Day, typically it’s tradition. In 2014, a small crowd of 30 gathered at the north side of the lake in urgency rather than celebration. Thirty-four year old Regina resident John Klein had collapsed of sudden cardiac arrest.

Word quickly reached the EMS bike team who were on site equipped with portable medical equipment including an automated external defibrillator (AED machine). The EMS team rushed to the site and joined the Regina Police and a Regina resident who were already performing CPR. Their efforts, over the next 30 minutes, gave John a second chance at life.

Once at the hospital, Klein’s oxygen levels remained dangerously low. He was put into a medically induced coma and placed on a cooling machine to give his organs time to heal with less oxygen. Once stabilized, John was brought out of the coma and diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a heart condition that often presents no symptoms until sudden cardiac arrest.

Photo (John with ER/EMS staff): The ER/EMS team relies on equipment funded by Hospitals of Regina Foundation donors daily. Pictured: John Klein and girlfriend Jerilyn Nixon (front, left) at the EMS headquarters in Regina with the Regina Police officers and three of the five the EMTs and paramedics involved in John’s cardiac arrest rescue at Wascana Lake on Canada Day.

Within days, John was implanted with an Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator (ICD) at the Regina General Hospital’s Kinsmen Telemiracle Foundation Electrophysiology (EP) Lab to regulate future heart arrhythmias. Thanks to the care he received, John is back working at the University of Regina and enjoying life.

Klein is just one of the 268 cases that EMS teams handle every day. This year alone, they are on track to handle 98,000 visits to the ER and 25,000 emergency calls. Glen Perchie, RQHR Executive Director of Emergency & EMS says that the equipment funded by donors was essential at every step in John’s recovery and that this is just one example of how donors help save lives every day.

Help save patients like John today!
The portable AED equipment quickly helped stabilize John on site and the cooling machine was critical to helping him avoid the long lasting, negative effects of prolonged oxygen deprivation. We have both these items thanks to donors. The Kinsmen Telemiracle Foundation EP Lab, built by donors in 2011, completed John’s recovery. Without this full suite of leading-edge equipment at the ready, it’s difficult to think about what John, and so many patients like him, would be faced with today.

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