Off-Duty EMT Administers CPR, Saves Life

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University of Delaware Emergency Care Unit

Pure chance saved the life of a 69-year-old woman when she went into cardiac arrest while driving outside Deer Park Tavern in Newark, Delaware Wednesday. As luck would have it, off-duty EMT David Baquet had just stopped inside the restaurant for a late lunch in between classes.

The woman went into cardiac arrest and became unresponsive while driving down Main Street with her husband. When restaurant-goers were asked by a Deer Park employee if they knew CPR, Baquet stepped up and helped the woman out of her car before starting CPR. 

"It all happened really quickly and I didn't realize how shocked I was till I stood up and saw everyone that had responded to the scene," Baquet told NBC10.

The patient regained a pulse and was transported to the emergency room in serious, but stable condition.

“The Chain of Survival begins with the bystander recognizing that a patient has gone into cardiac arrest,” Abigail Haas, a spokeswoman for New Castle County paramedics told the Newark Post. “That first link of the chain is vitally important to the patient surviving a cardiac arrest, as they are the person that first recognizes the patient’s heart has stopped, first calls for help and initiates chest compressions. Bystander CPR buys the patient time.”

Baquet just started his second year with the University of Delaware Emergency Care Unit (UDECU), which consists of about 50 student volunteers. Every volunteer receives in-depth, high quality EMT training from outside agencies like Delaware State Fire School, according to the UDECU website.

"I couldn't be more thankful to have had the amazing support and training from the members in these organizations," Baquet said, adding he hopes the victim has a quick recovery.  "Hopefully I'll get to meet her one day under better circumstances."

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