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SDSU Athletic training students respond to call for help


BROOKINGS, SD (KELO-AM) Following the Missouri State-South Dakota State University football game this past October, SDSU athletic training students Michael Nordgren and Tanner Wolf were loading a bus in preparation of a return trip to Brookings.Their normal postgame activities where interrupted when they were asked to help attend to someone in distress. Not knowing everything, they went to where this individual was and found him motionless on the ground."We ran over and didn't know if someone broke a hip but we found out he was unconscious, didn't have a pulse and wasn't breathing," said Nordgren, a senior from Sioux Falls.Thinking the man might have suffered a heart attack, Wolf remembered that they had packed the automated external defibrillator, a portable medical device that automatically analyzes and detects cardiac arrhythmias of cardiac arrest patients and is able to produce a shock which stops the heart and allows it to return to a normal rhythm.While Nordgren went to get the AED, Wolf said others contacted emergency medical services."We did what we are trained to do," said Wolf, a senior from Pierre.That meant they checked the individual for a pulse then to see if he was breathing. They discovered he wasn't doing either. Wolf then connected and operated the AED. Paramedics arrived shortly afterward.The patient responded to the onsite treatment and was able to talk later that day with family members at a hospital in Missouri. He has been released recently from the hospital and is doing well, according to Owen Stanley, ATC. Stanley is SDSU's director of sports medicine."You learn from (this experience) that life can take unexpected turns within a matter of seconds and you have to react to it," Wolf said. "You learn you (have) to react fast to it because this man's life was within minutes. It's important to act fast and do what is required to save this man's life."It was a good sense of accomplishment knowing you potentially saved a human's life," Wolf continued. "It's a good reward for your school, your program and yourself."Nordgren and Wolf will graduate in May and hope to continue in the athletic training field."With this experience, I think it makes me want to continue my education in athletic training even more just because you get the reward of helping somebody, helping a family when it was unexpected," Wolf said. "It teaches you that you have to always be on your toes, expect anything and be ready for anything; be prepared for the worst and hope for the best."Nordgren agreed."It taught me to be ready for anything. In athletic training, you don't necessarily think of heart attacks, but they can definitely happen," he said.