Robert Burns shared his story of survival at the Broward Health Medical Center Monday, along with the people who helped to save his life. They included student wrestler Brandon Smith and first responder Deputy Kevin Coleman. Dr. Nabil El Sanadi said that hundreds of Fort Lauderdale and Broward paramedics have been trained to use the hypothermia treatment technique.
In some cases hypothermia can be deadly, but it saved Deerfield Beach High School wrestling coach Robert Burns’ life.
“I’ve been very fortunate that I was in the situation I was because if I would have been at home by myself, none of this would have mattered. I would be a memory on a wall someplace,” Burns said.
Burns’ story of survival was shared at the Broward Health Medical Center Monday by the friends, students and the doctors that saved his life.
“I wish I could tell you I remembered more. I didn’t see the white light, I didn’t go ahead and see the devil, I just was done from March 28 until April 8,” Burns said.
The coach suffered cardiac arrest in front of his students, but thanks to their quick action and the unique medical treatment he received, he wasn’t on his back for long.
“When he wasn’t responding at all I was honestly scared because I thought I killed him,” student wrestler Brandon Smith said.
“When I didn’t get any kind of vitals whatsoever on him, so then I started administering CPR,” said first responder Deputy Kevin Coleman.
As soon as the paramedics arrived, Burns underwent 24 hours of hypothermia treatment, in which the body’s temperature is lowered to between 92 and 94 degrees.
Dr. Nabil El Sanadi said that hundreds of Fort Lauderdale and Broward Sheriff’s Office paramedics have been trained to use the technique to start cooling patients as they come to the hospital.
Over five years, doctors said they found that patient cooling treatments increased survival to discharge with 100 percent preservation of neurological function by tenfold.
Next week doctors will present their findings in Washington, and they will be published through the American Heart Association.