Quick response with an AED saves Vancouver student's life

VANCOUVER, Wash. - A student recently had her heart stop during wrestling practice at Hudson’s Bay High School. Staff helped save her life by using one of the school's Automated External Defibrillators.

The school takes its AEDs seriously, and for good reason.

Head wrestling coach Chad Ortiz remembers February 2 vividly. He was running his team through some drills when a sophomore student said she needed a break. Moments later she passed out.

"Seeing that first-hand is pretty scary," Ortiz said, remembering the medical emergency.

Staff quickly realized the girl wasn't breathing and didn't have a pulse. Ortiz and his team didn't hesitate.

"We have an emergency plan that all of us have certain responsibilities," Ortiz said.

A trainer ran to get the AED while someone else called 911. Within minutes the device was powered up and ready to go.

"It was pretty effective, where we got a pulse back, then after that we started CPR," Ortiz said.

EMT's were there minutes later. They told Ortiz that device likely saved the girl's life.

"You're always thinking, 'oh it's never going to happen until it happens'. You start looking at the cost, (of the AED) but when you do need it and it saves someone's life, it's well worth it," Ortiz said.

Now Ortiz is crediting the AED, and that emergency plan for saving that student. He hopes he'll never have to use it again, but said he feels better knowing it's there just in case.

The student has asked for privacy, so no word on what caused the medical emergency. She has been released from the hospital and should make a full recovery according to school staff.

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