Doctor Deals a Lifesaving Hand

When Robert Muggia, M.D., went to a bridge tournament in February last year, he was not expecting to save a life.

Dr. Muggia, Medical Director of Gastroenterology at Winchester Hospital, was at another table when the refrain “Is there a doctor in the house,” rang out. He was called to assist a 67-year-old pulseless man lying on the ground. Emergency 911 was alerted and Dr. Muggia began cardio-cerebral resuscitation (CCR), which involves continuous chest compressions without mouth-to-mouth ventilation.

Research shows that CCR, which is taught at Winchester Hospital, improves the survival rate for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest more than with traditional cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The fire department arrived during the ninth minute of CCR, Dr. Mugga said, and a LUCAS system, which mechanically delivers chest compressions, then took over.

“EKG tracings showed the patient was in V-Fib arrest, and after the third shock, a rhythm and blood pressure was obtained,” he said.

The patient was transported to Mount Auburn Hospital’s ICU, where two days later an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (AICD) was placed. “Eight days later the patient was playing bridge at a tournament in Kansas City,” Dr. Muggia said. As someone who has seen many cardiac arrests since 1982, both inside the hospital and out, he was amazed¬†with the potential for CCR to really improve outcomes.

Dr. Muggia was recently honored with a medal of commendation by the Watertown Fire Chief at a February 2018 ceremony.

*The content on this website is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. Please consult a physician regarding your specific medical condition, diagnosis and/or treatment.

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