Tracy Trumper, Dennis Jelden

CPR training proves crucial in state track incident

    For 27 years, Holyoke’s Tracy Trumper has renewed her CPR certification. She used it for the first time Saturday afternoon, May 18, at the Colorado State Track meet and saved a life.
     Trumper was preparing to watch her daughter in the second flight of the girls long jump around 2 p.m. Saturday, in the northeast corner of Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood.
    She was alerted to voices around her and suddenly a man (who was also watching a friend/family member in the long jump) fell backward. “I just knew he was in trouble,” Trumper said. Her instincts, along with her CPR training, kicked in.
    Trumper assessed the situation, finding the man had no pulse and wasn’t breathing. “I grabbed him by the shirt and laid him down and started doing CPR.”
    Dr. Dennis Jelden, also of Holyoke, and two other physicians were soon on the scene as the track events were stopped and emergency help was summoned.
    Trumper said she just kept doing chest compressions, and Jelden was protecting the airway.
    An automated external defibrillator arrived, and the victim was given a shock. Trumper just kept on pumping. A second shock was given, and his pulse returned.
    At that point, Kevin Jelden, who is part of the timing crew for the state meet, having noticed his brother Dennis was involved in the medical emergency, stepped in and relieved Trumper, taking over the chest compressions.
    Trumper recalls being so thankful when the ambulance arrived for transport.
    “It was a group effort,” Trumper said of those responding to the sudden emergency. “We all were talking, checking off the things needing done. Everyone came around.”
    Dr. Jelden was quick to say, “Tracy saved his life by quickly starting CPR.” He pointed out that people need to know that CPR needs to be started right away when someone goes into cardiac arrest. “That was the key.”
    “If someone goes down, call 911, then start CPR immediately,” Jelden said. “Early CPR and early defibrillation are two keys to surviving cardiac arrest.”
    According to the American Heart Association, immediate CPR can double or triple chances of survival after cardiac arrest, and the earlier it gets started, the better the outcome.
    The chance of survival without CPR and defibrillation within the first four minutes of a cardiac arrest is less than 2%. The average Out-of-Hospital cardiac arrest survival rate is 12%, but that increases to 34% if someone starts CPR immediately and an AED is available.
    Only about 46% of people who experience OHCA get the immediate help that they need before professional help arrives. The 2017 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics state that among the 356,000 OHCAs that occurred, 45.7% received bystander CPR.
    Saturday evening, Trumper received a call from family/friends of the cardiac arrest victim saying that he was in ICU but was stable.
    “He survived the arrest and the fact he made it to the hospital is a wonderful thing,” Jelden said. He was adamant in stressing the importance of people being willing to get CPR training. “Because truly, early intervention is the most important thing.”
    Trumper has been certified in CPR since 1992 when it was required before being accepted into the program she was pursuing to become a certified athletic trainer. And she continues to renew her certification.
    This is the first time she’s had to use it. “And that’s why you don’t let your certification expire,” Jelden said.

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