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PNS Daily Newscast - Friday, August 23, 2019 


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“Common-Sense” Phone CPR Training Can Save People Like Ashley’s Husband

Ashley Goette says she was within days of giving birth to her son when a 911 dispatcher had to coach her through the cardiopulmonary resuscitation that saved her husband's life. (Goette/AHA)
Ashley Goette says she was within days of giving birth to her son when a 911 dispatcher had to coach her through the cardiopulmonary resuscitation that saved her husband's life. (Goette/AHA)
April 23, 2019

SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Last fall, a 911 dispatcher talked a pregnant West Saint Paul woman through the CPR that saved her husband's life. Now Ashley Goette is backing what many are calling common-sense legislation to make that possible across Minnesota.

The day before Goette was scheduled to give birth, her otherwise healthy 28-year-old husband suddenly went into cardiac arrest. Luckily, she said, the 911 operator knew what to tell her, and coached her through giving chest compressions until the ambulance arrived.

"The doctors told me Andrew wouldn't have survived without it,” Goette said. “If I would’ve had to have just stood there and watched him die - the entire experience was traumatic as it was, but nobody should have to just hold tight until help arrives."

Her husband recovered in the same hospital where she soon gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

Not every Minnesota 911 dispatcher is trained in Telephone CPR. Bipartisan bills now before the Legislature would require they be trained, or able to quickly transfer the call to someone who is.

According to the American Heart Association, the Minnesota cardiac-arrest survival rate is only 13 percent, but bystander CPR can double or triple a person's chance of survival. State Rep. Julie Sandstede is sponsoring one of the Telephone CPR bills. She said requiring the training or a transfer option is common sense.

"I took that for granted,” Sandstede said. “It wasn't until this legislation was brought to me that I said, 'You're kidding me. Like, they don't already do this?' The truth is we do it in some parts of our state, but it's not required."

Every minute without CPR reduces the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest by 10 percent.

Sandstede’s own husband was saved by a quick-thinking first responder when he had a heart attack while in the middle of a rural part of the state with few people around. And she said, since that describes so much of Minnesota, it becomes all the more important that whoever is taking a 911 call knows what to say or how to connect with someone who does.

"It takes a longer time to get to remote locations. When you need help, you need help,” she said. “And those first couple of minutes are absolutely critical. They are the difference between life and death."

More information on the Goette family’s story and legislation in the state house is available at yourethecure.org/ashley.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - MN