Belmont, Perth,

Gym trainers use first aid to save a life

The importance of knowing first aid was highlighted recently when staff from a city gym helped save the life of a 28-year-old man.

Anthony Picton was only minutes into his workout at the CBD Health Spa in Murray St on Monday, 10 September when he blacked out.

Sensing he was in trouble, gym staff commenced CPR on Mr Picton and then called an ambulance.

Gym owner Troy Kennedy said: “We commenced compressions as Anthony had stopped breathing and started turning blue and by the time he was loaded into the ambulance the paramedics said that he had a faint but steady pulse, which was a minor miracle after the state he was in only minutes earlier.”

A St John Ambulance WA (SJAWA) crew was dispatched to the gym and they started defibrillation to re-start Mr Picton’s heart, before taking him to Royal Perth Hospital.

SJAWA Business Services Manager Greg Massam said vital first aid training had helped the gym staff save Mr Picton’s life.

“Without doubt the actions of the staff at CBD helped save Mr Picton’s life,” he said.

“Every minute that passes without action taken decreases the chance of survival by 10 per cent, so immediate CPR is critical to keeping someone alive.”

Mr Kennedy praised his staff for their quick and decisive action, saying their first aid training had kicked in.

“Nothing can prepare you for the change from the training mannequin to a human being - however equipping yourself with the right tools will give you the best possible chance of having a good outcome,” he said.

Mr Picton, a Reece Plumbing office manager, said he thought he was in pretty good shape until the black out in the gym. He had even competed in the City to Surf event on 28 August.

“In the last 18 months I have lost about 28 kilograms through gym work and healthy eating,” he said.

“I thought I was pretty fit – until I bloody died."

He said doctors “didn’t really find out what was wrong with me” but they did identify some scarring on his heart.

Mr Picton was discharged from RPH on Wednesday, 19 September after having a defibrillator implanted in his chest. He is now recuperating at home but is looking forward to a return to work and “life a normal.”

The individuals who helped Mr Picton have been nominated for a St John Ambulance Community Hero Award.
The awards will be announced at an event in November.

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