Snitzer had no pulse, and wasn’t breathing. For the next 96 the Lodermeier brothers, along with bystander Candace Koehn, and more than two dozen other first responders took turns performing CPR on him. This team effort is likely what saved Snitzer’s life, in what appears to be one of the longest, triumphant out-of-hospital resuscitations ever.
The emergency helicopter from the Mayo Clinic flew from Rochester, Minn., about 35 miles away. If not for the team effort CPR that the would-be rescuers did for Snitzer, he would have lost oxygen to his brain and died. Studies show that only about five percent of people who have a heart attack on the street survive.
Their teamwork kept blood flowing to Snitzer’s brain, making each rescuer a surrogate for his failing heart. “The brain survives, at best, five or six minutes when the blood flow stops,” Wilkoff says. Nationwide, only about 5% of people who suffer cardiac arrest on the street are resuscitated and leave the hospital, he says.
In this case, Snitzer, 54, did survive after spending 10 days in the hospital.
His story shows the importance of learning CPR, according to the paramedics who responded to his heart attack. They said the number one reason he lived is because people there started good, hard and fast CPR.