In the Spotlight: April 9, 2012

Dark-haired woman with glassesPadma Sundareshan, PharmD 2009, is credited with saving a man’s life by quickly assessing a serious situation and administering CPR until paramedics arrived.

Sundareshan was at work one evening at a Walgreens pharmacy in Oro Valley. A couple was in the waiting area, waiting to receive flu shots. Suddenly the wife cried out that her husband had stopped breathing (apparently from cardiac arrest).

Sundareshan ran out of the pharmacy and, with help, laid the gentleman on the floor and then began performing CPR. She administered two breaths, then switched to chest-compression-only CPR.

When paramedics arrived, the patient still did not have heart rhythm or a pulse. The paramedics started oxygen and an IV, took over CPR and administered an AED shock. When the patient was on a stretcher and being moved out to the ambulance, Sundareshan heard one of the paramedics say, “We have a pulse.”

A few days later, the patient’s wife called the Walgreens store manager to express her gratitude for Sundareshan’s help. She said the doctors in the emergency room told her that the only reason her husband is still here is that Sundareshan performed CPR until the paramedics arrived.

“Definitely the training I received as a student at UA COP positively helped me in this situation,” says Sundareshan. “The feeling that you may have played a role in saving someone else’s life knows no other greater satisfaction (or pleasure) in life for a human being.”

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