Scottsdale martial arts students save man in cardiac arrest

Pictured above are Richard Farkas between Dennis Scribner and Santosh Rao who sprung into action administering hands-only CPR when Mr. Farkas experienced a cardiac-arrest event. (Photo courtesy of the Scottsdale Fire Department)

Scottsdale resident Richard Farkas, 62, was attending class at Aikido of Scottsdale on May 30 when he suffered a cardiac arrest.

Fellow students Dennis Scribner and Santosh Rao, who also happen to be doctors, immediately recognized the problem and jumped into action, calling 911 and beginning CPR, according to officials at the Scottsdale Fire Department.

Mr. Farkas regained spontaneous circulation on the way to HonorHealth and immediately underwent a procedure to insert a special metallic stent with bioabsorbable polymer, according to a press release.

Mr. Farkas walked out of the hospital days later and returned to his family.

Scottsdale Fire honors Mr. Scribner and Mr. Rao for their quick response that contributed to saving Mr. Farkas that night.

“This is proof that quick bystander response saves lives,” said SFD Assistant Fire Chief Eric Valliere in a prepared statement. “These actions set the stage for the emergency responders and our HonorHealth partners to create a positive outcome for this patient.”

According to the American Heart Association, there are more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year in the United States. About 90 percent of people who suffer these cardiac arrests die. When CPR is performed immediately the patient’s chance of survival can double or even triple.


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