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Doctor, Others In Right Place At Right Time To Help Save Man In SLC Pool

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Police say swift action from several people at an indoor pool Wednesday evening may have saved a man’s life.

The man, according to Salt Lake City Police Lt. Mike Hatch, was taking part in some diving and other life-saving exercises with a group of people in the pool at the Fairmont Aquatic Center, 1044 Sugarmont Dr., when he seemed to suffer from a medical problem.

“I noticed this guy swimming into my lane,” recalled John Dame. “He seemed to be a little bit out of sorts swimming a little odd.”

Dame, who happens to be a family practice doctor, said that’s when he detected something was very wrong.

“He came up and looked really disoriented and couldn’t make eye contact and then collapsed,” Dame said. “I picked him up and kept him from going under the water, and when I realized he really had no strength at all, started to bring him over to the edge of the pool.”

At that time, Dame said several others rushed over to help.

“He didn’t have a pulse and wasn’t breathing normally, so we started CPR,” Dame said. “Within about a minute, we had an AED—which is the device to detect if he has a heart rate and if it needs a shock or not, and it indicated that he needed a shock, and after the shock was delivered, he actually started to breathe a bit on his own and had a pulse.”

Though the man’s condition faded again, Dame said the man left with a pulse and he was breathing.

Hatch said he was transported to the hospital in serious but non-life threatening condition.

“It sounds like they saved the guy’s life and he should be very thankful for it,” Hatch said. “It’s great when you see citizens jump in and help their fellow citizens out.”

Dame said he believed he was supposed to be there.

“Had it happened on a different night or with different people, I don’t know if they would have had the training,” Dame said. “I’m glad I was there.”

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