• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

CPR saves man after massive heart attack

September 23, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Newsman Tim Russert and runner Jim Fixx are just two well known names of people who died of sudden cardiac arrest. New research offers some insight into how to improve survival rates. A local man suffered a massive heart attack on the basketball court and he survived to tell his story.He's back on the basketball court. But in August 53-year-old Howard Abravanel's game took a dangerous turn.

Watch video of Howard Abravanel receiving CPR. Abravanel thinks viewing what happened to him will help bring awareness to how important CPR training is. Warning, the clip content is intense.

He collapsed, stopped breathing. his pulse disappeared. Luckily, opthalmalogist Robert Feinfield - trained in CPR, was nearby. A bystander shot video of the incident and in it you see Dr. Feinfield performing chest compressions.

"I continued to give chest compressions until the paramedics arrived," said Dr. Rob Feinfield.

It turned out Howard had two blockages in his arteries. He was in full cardiac arrest.

"Without the CPR, this conversation wouldn't be taking place," said Abravanel.

Howard Abravanel is alive today because someone within ear shot knew CPR. A new study out of 20 thousand cases finds only 25 percent of cardiac arrest cases did bystanders perform CPR.

"I've worked in emergency rooms and have performed CPR in a hospital setting, but never in the field," said Dr. Rob Feinfield.

"He didn't think that it would be successful, but it was," said Dr. Arthur Feinfield.

Dr. Feinfield is no stranger to CPR -- coincidentally, his father is a pioneer of modern day CPR. Back in the 1960s, Dr. Arthur Feinfield knew if first responders could be trained to keep the heart pumping until a patient could reach an electric defibrillator countless lives could be saved.

"It's a very effective technique if you can get someone who knows how to do it there rapidly," said Dr. Arthur Feinfield.

A new study from the University of Washington finds: your chances of survival vary from city to city, where you live can be the difference between life and death.

Now, experts want that information to be public, so more money can be allocated to training.

"From my point of view everybody should know it because so many lives can be saved," said

Howard Abravanel also wants to thank the paramedics, and the staff at Tarzana Hospital. Dr. Feinfield was a perfect stranger on that day, now they share a bond for life.

They both hope in telling this story more people will get trained in CPR.

 

- Get more L.A. breaking news, weather, traffic and sports
- Have a news tip? Send your tips, video, or pictures

A new study from the University of Washington finds: your chances of survival vary from city to city, where you live can be the difference between life and death. Now, experts want that information to be public, so more money can be allocated to training.

"From my point of view everybody should know it because so many lives can be saved," said


Load Comments