Dinwiddie school nurse saves teacher in cardiac arrest - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Dinwiddie school nurse saves teacher in cardiac arrest


David Dayvault once worked as an E.R. nurse at Southside Regional Medical Center. Now, EMT crews say his training saved the life of a Dinwiddie Middle School teacher.

Dayvault heard a call on his emergency radio, with a teacher's voice almost unrecognizable. From the panicking on the other end, the school nurse thought a student was seriously hurt in an after school basketball game. Instead, he saw a friend on the floor in cardiac arrest.

"He was having some sort of hypoxic type seizure," Dayvault said in an interview Tuesday. "And he had no pulse."

That's when Dayvault took out his A.E.D., an automated external defibrillator. The nurse began compressions, but the man's heart was not pumping blood.

Dayvault then made the decision to shock the heart back into a rhythm.

"This is one of the first times I ever heard [the AED] say, ‘press the red button now,' And I mean, it said ‘press the red button, now.' I started back with compressions because that's what they teach. But no pulse."

Before the end of the second round of compressions, the teacher began to move. Dayvault said the hardest part of the emergency was staying focused while a friend was dying.

"It's just… the emotion of it is just overwhelming. That's the biggest thing. Trying to control the emotion, trying to make sure that you're doing the right thing, and praying for the right outcome."

The heart attack happened March 28, but Dayvault said he is slightly shy, and it took coaxing from friends and co-workers to tell his story. The Dinwiddie County School Board honored the school nurse this week, holding a surprise ceremony to express its gratitude.

Dayvault said the biggest surprise was not the ceremony. Instead, it was what the teacher said when he was brought back to life.

"He said, ‘no man! That means I ain't going to the beach this weekend.' I'll never forget that."

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