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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