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Anthony Quinn, a front desk employee at The Old Ground Hotel, who administered CPR and defibrillation to a gentleman in his fifties who collapsed during a family gathering recently. The man was then transported by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick, to be treated for his condition. Photograph by John Kelly

Hero, 21, saves life of man at workplace

Hotel employee springs into action to save guest experiencing cardiac arrest

AN Ennis hotel worker and Irish Red Cross volunteer has been hailed a hero after saving a man experiencing cardiac arrest while at a family event.
Anthony Quinn, aged 21, works at the Old Ground Hotel and was on duty when he was alerted that a man in his 50s had collapsed in one of the function rooms and needed medical assistance.
Anthony, who is trained in CPR through his volunteering with the Irish Red Cross told The Champion, “I just went down to him straight away and there was a crowd gathered around him and I could see he was turning blue.
“My training just kicked in and I went and checked his pulse and assessed him to find he was in cardiac arrest. I rang 999 and co-ordinated with the emergency services and commenced CPR.”
Every minute of a cardiac arrest is vital and Anthony asked the hotel’s deputy manager John Maher to rush to get the defibrillator from the Height on O’Connell Square while he continued giving CPR supported by an off-duty nurse.
“There were lots of people in the room and the family were behind me listening to what I was saying so I discreetly asked the deputy manager to get the defibrillator because I didn’t want to panic anybody.
“He sprinted up the road to get it. The important thing in this kind of situation is to keep everybody calm, if you are not calm nobody else will be.
“It’s about keeping your cool and focusing on the situation rather than panicking which would just do more harm.”
After three shocks with the defibrillator and continuous CPR the man became responsive.
“He was able to talk when he came around and I remember my last interaction with him was he had his hand on my shoulder. Afterwards his family were coming up to me, shaking my hand and saying thanks.
“The day of it was very emotional, I had to sit down afterwards in the back office.
“It is a traumatic experience something like that, even with the training it’s in the back of your head that he could be gone in my arms.
“I haven’t really heard anything about how he is doing yet, but I do know that he did survive. I’d say he’s probably still in hospital recovering.”
While his heroic actions have been earning him high praise, Anthony is modest saying he only did what his training had taught him to do.
“I nearly have to hide every time I’m walking down the corridor in the hotel because of people coming up to me. But it is good to get awareness out there of the Irish Red Cross and the importance of learning CPR and using the defibrillator.”
Anthony is grateful that there was a defibrillator in the town centre, and he feels that more of the life-saving devices should be available in case of emergencies.
“The faster you get to a patient with CPR and a defibrillator it increases their chances of survival. That’s the importance of having defibrillators in the area and I believe we could do with more of them.”
Anthony has been a member of the Irish Red Cross since the age of 16, and amazingly this is the third time he has had to use his training in a real-life emergency situation. He is encouraging others to learn CPR and using the defibrillator with training from the Irish Red Cross.
“People should 100% get involved with the organisation. I’m the Area Director for Youth so I am currently recruiting 14 to 18-year-olds to get involved but these are skills everyone should have.”
If you would like to be trained as to use the defibrillator and deliver CPR you can contact the Irish Red Cross Clare Area at youth.clare@irishredcross.com or contact them through their facebook “Irish Red Cross – Clare Area”.

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