Woman demonstrating CPR on mannequin in first aid class

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

Michael Lovelace, a teacher and registered nurse, was teaching in Alabama when he started to have difficulty catching his breath. Feeling short of breath, Lovelace decided to sit down and wait for the shortness of breath to go away.

Lovelace taught many nurses and emergency service workers CPR and ACLS training.

He drove himself to the emergency room when his symptoms were not getting any better. When he arrived at the emergency room, an EKG was performed, and the emergency room explained that he was having a heart attack. Ken Harris, a former student for Lovelace, was on duty that day and was Lovelace’s nurse.

Harris, choosing to not get ACLS recertification online but rather attended Lovelace’s class, recalls his teacher grabbing his arm telling him how scared he was at the moment.

The life-saving skills taught to Harris by his now patient included CPR and advanced cardiac life support. Harris claims that a lot of the people who were in the room when he went into cardiac arrest were either trained by his teacher or trained by someone he trained.

Lovelace uses a method of training in his classroom which involves an automated machine that helps students learn through CPR simulations. Harris claims that his teacher was administered over six rounds of chest compressions, three shocks and suffered from eleven broken ribs before he was able to revive Lovelace.

Harris claims that it is Lovelace’s training that helped Harris save his teacher’s life that day.

Heart attacks are responsible for 25% of all deaths in the United States annually. Around 610,000 people die annually from a heart attack, and Lovelace never thought that his training would one day save his own life. There are 735,000 Americans annually who suffer from heart attacks, so the death rate is still high despite the widespread use of CPR and ACLS training.

Lovelace is not alone in believing that he was healthy before having a heart attack. Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz believed that he was safe when he went into cardiac arrest. Doctors claim that sometimes the first sign of suffering from heart disease is death.

Kamenetz called 911. Workers were administering CPR to him when he was in full cardiac arrest. Doctors from St. Joseph Medical Center state that he was suffering from what’s called ventricular fibrillation, or a heart rhythm that is very difficult to treat.

The team administered CPR and used advanced cardiac life support techniques, but they were never able to restore Kamenetz’s heartbeat.

The heart rhythm that he experienced was consistent with a person who was not getting a sufficient blood supply to the heart. Positioning of the blockage is also vital to the diagnosis of a person in cardiac arrest. Blockages of small arteries are often less serious than a blockage in the left anterior, for example.

Doctors encourage anyone that shows no symptoms of a heart attack or heart problems to not assume that there’s nothing wrong. Doctors suggests regular checkups and blood pressure readings to prevent potential heart attacks. Some patients live for 10 or 20 years with high blood pressure that never goes detected.