AED is used by a mother to save her 17-year-old daughter who has gone into cardiac arrest
Keianna Joe, 17, was warming up with her team when she became unresponsive.
Andrea Joe, Keianna’s mother, realized that her daughter was in distress and went over to aid.
I immediately ran to her side and I felt for a pulse and I didn’t feel a pulse and I checked again, and I didn’t feel a pulse,” Joe told “GMA.” “I am CPR-certified … I’ve been trained on an AED device and I knew kind of at that moment that she needs this. This has to be done and I know how to do it.
Joe, a mom of three who works as a certified medical assistant, said she immediately started performing CPR on Keianna.
As she tried to keep blood flowing throughout Keianna’s body to prevent brain damage, Joe said someone brought over an automated external defibrillator, or AED, that was kept in the high school gym.
An AED is a portable medical device that can analyze the heart rhythm and, when appropriate, deliver an electrical shock to restore a person’s heart to its normal rhythm, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Though Joe had been trained to use an AED for years, she said she never previously used one in a real-life setting, and never expected to use one on her otherwise healthy daughter.
I grabbed the pads and I just kind of ripped her uniform up over her head and threw the pads on her and hit the button,” Joe said. “It said, ‘shock advised,’ and that was alarming because you train on these devices all the time and every time you train on them, they never deliver a shock because it’s not a live patient.
After Joe used the AED again and performed another round of CPR, Keianna finally inhaled deeply, signaling she was breathing again.
Keianna was later transferred to Duke University Hospital, where doctors discovered she had gone into cardiac arrest, a potentially fatal condition where the heart stops beating suddenly, stopping the flow of blood to the brain and other organs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
After more than a week in the hospital, much of that time spent in critical condition, Keianna underwent surgery Monday to insert an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, a battery-powered device that can detect and stop irregular heartbeats.
She is now home and recovering, a milestone that her doctor says is due to her mom’s quick actions.
Her mom delivering high-quality CPR to her for the few minutes it took to get the AED there basically allowed her to escape with no brain damage,” said Dr. Zebulon Zachary Spector, the pediatric cardiologist at Duke University Hospital who performed surgery on Keianna. “And she’s probably alive because there was an AED on-site and her mom knew how to use it.
Both Keianna and her mom said they are sharing their story in hopes of raising awareness about the importance of both knowing CPR and having AEDs onsite in public places, including at youth sports.
I want everyone to be aware of the situation, especially schools and athletic gyms,” said Keianna. “I wasn’t expecting to go in there and have this happen to me, but I’m thankful I was surrounded by a bunch of people who knew exactly what to do, who knew how to use an AED and do CPR.