Xavier professor performs CPR, saves life of man who suffered cardiac arrest mid-flight

A Xavier professor and doctor performed CPR in public for the first time to save the life of a...
A Xavier professor and doctor performed CPR in public for the first time to save the life of a man while on board to West Palm Beach.(Patsy Montesinos)
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 1:46 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A Xavier professor performed CPR outside of a clinical setting for the first time as he saved the life of a man who suffered cardiac arrest on a flight to West Palm Beach, Florida, on March 5.

Dr. Edmond Hooker, an emergency physician and longtime Xavier professor, was on the flight with his wife when they heard frantic calls coming from behind them.

A man was having a heart attack.

Hooker says he rushed to the victim and saw that he was cyanotic - a condition describing someone whose skin appears blue due to lack of oxygen in the blood.

“In this situation, there is no time to think — you just have to act,” said Hooker, director of Xavier’s Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA) program.

Dr. Hooker says he dragged the man to the floor of the plane and worked with another physician on board to give hands-only CPR. This method of CPR solely relies on chest compressions for two minutes.

As they prepared to apply a defibrillator, the victim regained his pulse and began to breathe, Hooker said.

He says by the time the pilots made an emergency landing in Jacksonville, the man was awake and talking when they arrived at the gate.

Hooker says instances like this one is why everyone should learn hands-only CPR.

“If no one starts CPR until EMS arrival, the patient has less than a 5% chance of survival,” Hooker said.

He says he has trained thousands of students in CPR over the years.

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