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Doctors Share their Off-the-Clock CPR Stories

We know you’re familiar with the words, “Is there a doctor in the house?” We occasionally ask the Sermo network of global physicians to share their off-the-clock doctor experiences, when they needed to spring into action, outside the hospital or office setting.

Recently, we asked doctors, “Have you ever needed to perform CPR on someone during your off-work hours?”

Below are some physicians’ best stories:

“I was riding on the regional rail line, in suburban Philadelphia, when the train suddenly stopped. The conductor ran through, asking if anyone was a doctor. Followed him to a car where a man was down and gray, with a recent bypass scar. Med student doing CPR, I assisted.” – Emergency Medicine

“Did it whilst in a gym as a junior doctor. I was the only one who knew how to do it and the gym instructor new that I was medically trained. Luckily the guy came around quickly.” – General Practice

“Not me, but my wife did, as a teenager, in a National Park. She had taken CPR in the Girl Scouts, and was the only one around who knew how to do it. Old guy had collapsed.” – Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

“I remember when I was young, I was at the beach with my friends and we saw a body of a young man floating face down below the waves. This happened 3 meters from the beach sand. I ran out and lifted the body, putting my hands under his armpits. In an instant, I raised him and the young man oscillated to the neck to the right and to the left. I hugged him behind his body with a lot of energy and immediately the young man started vomiting water. The lifeguard service of the beach appeared and took care of the young man who was half drowned. 
Finally, the young man regained his senses and was able to walk alone.” – Family Medicine

“A road accident cost the life to both parents. The child under 3 years was in cardiorespiratory arrest after having a weak pulse, 30 minutes of CPR and now I have a new friend.” – Emergency Medicine

“I performed CPR in an aircraft flying at 30,000 feet over the Gulf. The patient had passed out with no recordable pulse or breathing. Pilot called for a doctor to come forward and I performed CPR after assessing the patient. I told the pilot, “We should land immediately.” The nearest airport was Dubai. After initial hesitation and talking about additional costs the pilot gave in when I told him about a possible death in the plane. The plane landed and the patient was transferred to a waiting ambulance.” – Ophthalmology

Are you a doctor? Join Sermo to share your experiences as a physician with your peers around the world!