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Telephone CPR: Saving Lives Around the World

It came without warning: One moment Joe Andazola was enjoying a round of golf with some friends, the next he fell to the grass unconscious. His heart had ceased to beat rhythmically—it was fibrillating, no longer pumping blood to his vital organs.

His chances of living were slim. Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is a leading cause of death worldwide. In the United States, a mere 8% of victims survive and go home with their families. But Joe, a 73-year-old Phoenix resident, was fortunate. A dispatcher at the Phoenix Fire Department recognized the OHCA early in the 9-1-1 call and provided lifesaving CPR instructions to Joe’s golf buddy of many years, a bystander who’d never done CPR.

“Katie Sheridan (the dispatcher) made all the difference, I’m convinced of that,” says Karen Andazola, Joe’s wife. “She taught CPR over the phone and kept them going, doing the compressions I know saved Joe’s life.”

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