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Swift Action Saves Skier After Heart Attack on the Water


Fast thinking and high quality care helped Brian Kanable recover from a life-threatening medical emergency.

Brian Kanable of La Crosse, Wisconsin, could also mow his lawn or walk with his wife, Julie, in the morning of August, when he had his heart attack . But he was not. The 53-year-old was a water ski. As a result, Brian not only suffered a life-threatening cardiac arrest he also drowned almost as much.

Fortunately for Brian, a host of factors came together to save him. The quick thinking of his water ski buddies, the rescue measures of emergency responders and the expertise of his care team at Mayo Clinic Health System – Franciscan Healthcare in La Crosse Helped to survive the double trauma that he suffered that day.

"What was remarkable in Brian's success was that it was a fantastic interaction with everyone involved," says Brian's cardiologist Charles Cagin, DO . "It's a demonstration of what happens when everyone in the community through the hospital does its job as they are supposed to do it."

Just months after the incident, Brian is not just back, he can not wait to get back on his skis. "I come back to the life I was in before the heart attack, and hope it's better because I now have a new heart," Brian says.

But after his experience that day, he says that he will not "take life for granted".

Moment that changes the life

It was a typical day of the month of August when Brian and two long-time water ski friends went to the Black River, north of La Crosse, to ski early in the morning . For years, the men had gathered three to five days a week before working in the summer to ski the river.

"It's fun to get together, it's an amazing workout," Brian explains. "It's a nice experience to ski at that time of the morning because you actually see the sun rising."

Brian was the first to ski. He jumped in, grabbed the ski rope, and was quickly up and skimmed the water. He had not gone far when, according to his friends, his face began to change, and he unexpectedly dropped the rope. Brian was wearing a lifejacket. But as he plunged into the water, his body leaned forward and his face went under the water.

"One thing we've always been is security, which is honestly why I think I'm alive." – Brian Kanable

His friends immediately returned the boat and returned to Brian. One of them jumped and started to support Brian's head. He also grabbed the tow rope. The other pulled the rope, with the two men back to the boat, and they carried Brian on board. The men, who were still carrying a phone with them on the boat, called 911 and ran to the marina where the emergency dispatcher directed them.

"One thing we've always been, it's security, which is honestly the reason I think I'm alive," Brian says.

The ambulance was waiting when they arrived at the marina. First responders immediately began chest compressions. Brian received four sets of defibrillation before his heart started beating again.

"They literally raised me up, lost me, and brought me back," Brian says. "They worked on me for about 25 minutes before they could take me back to Mayo."

Life saving medicine

At the Mayo Clinic Health System, Emergency Medicine physicians quickly assessed Brian and the damage caused by his heart attack and near-drowning.

"He had a multi-organ organ failure," says Dr. Cagin. In addition to his heart, Brian's lungs and kidneys had stopped working after being ripped off the river. Brian's brain was deprived of oxygen for a short time, which caused some problems with Brian's memory and his ability to think clearly during his one month recovery.

After Brian was stabilized, he was taken to Catheter Lab where five stents were placed in the coronary blockages that led to his heart attack. From there he was transferred to the intensive care unit where he spent the next 16 days. During this time, he was put in continuous renal replacement therapy, a temporary form of renal dialysis and placed in a medically induced coma.

"I felt like there was no one out there who was not doing a good job and who was not nice, it was like that. they were there because they like their work – Brian Kanable

About six days after his heart attack, Brian started making small movements and opened his eyes. A week later, while Brian was experiencing more chest pain, his team implanted five additional stents to improve blood circulation in his vessels.

"Brian had a multi-vessel coronary heart disease so you open those who are completely closed, and even if the others are narrow, you do not put those vessels in danger. Cagin says. He notes that the stenting process involves a risk of tearing or dissection of the vessel. "That's the reason you're staging it, it's a decision made at that time."

After the second set of stents, more functions of Brian came back. His memory started coming back, but most of the days he spent at the USI were lost to him.

"It's like I'm having a long dream: from the moment I've had the heart attack, I've been out for two good weeks," Brian says. "My first memory of coming around me was to shake hands, ask for a cold drink and give people hugs."

Stimulating Care

When Brian was transferred out of the USI at day 17, he began a rigorous diet of physical therapy and cognitive speech therapy. At each stage of his recovery, Brian says he's been greeted by an energetic staff eager to help him.

"I had the impression that there was no one out there who was not doing a good job and that was not nice," he says. . "They had the impression of being there because they love their work, I do not know if it happens in every hospital, the care is just great."

Brian says that his suppliers not only showed him a lot of care, but also his wife, Julie.

"The whole resort is like a family," says Brian. "No matter where we went, every day, they supported her and assured her that she was taking care My wife was also saying about the whole Mayo program, the fact is that they've gotten it right." really care about it. "

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Tags: Cardiac Arrest Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery Coronary Artery Disease Defibrillation Dr. Charles Cagin ] Emergency Medicine Heart Attack

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