Learning from the Rich Peverley Incident

A HeartStart Automated External Defibrillator (AED)Perhaps you heard the story of Rich Peverley, the Dallas Stars center who had a “cardiac event” in the middle of Monday night’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Peverley had just come off the ice when he collapsed on the bench. The next few minutes were critical when it came to saving his life:

Head athletic trainer Dave Zeis and team physician William Robertson carried Peverley by his feet and hands to the back. That’s where a team of medical staff and physicians sprung to action to deal with his “cardiac event.”

“That team is made up of internal medicine doctors, orthopedic surgeons, trauma surgeons, trauma doctors, airway specialists, they’re all here to respond to incidents like this along with the Dallas Fire and Rescue paramedic staff,” said Dr. Bill Robertson, head team physician for the Stars.

How was Peverley treated on-site?

According to Gil Salazar of UT Southwestern Medical Center: “We provided oxygen for him. We started an IV. We did chest compressions on him and defibrillated him, provided some electricity to bring a rhythm back to his heart, and that was successful with one attempt, which is very reassuring.”

It was the standard procedure for a case like this, and Peverley soon regained consciousness. He was transported in an ambulance to St. Paul Hospital, UT-Southwestern St. Paul with his wife at his side, lucid enough to tell Salazar that he wanted to get back in the game. (Hey, he was on a point streak…)

The fast response was indicative of the way medical staffing has changed during NHL games over the years.

From Puck Daddy

Rich Peverley is 32 and in fantastic shape.

In general, churches in America are made up of people who are neither as young as Rich Peverley nor in as good of shape. I have seen statistics suggesting that 51% of evangelical church goers are age 50 or older. While some churches are prepared for incidents like what happened on Monday night in Dallas, but my guess is that most are not. In this day and age, preparing for such events is easier than ever before (The American Heart Association even offers online courses).

Is YOUR church ready for a cardiac event?


About the Author: Matt Steen

I love Jesus, Theresa (my wife), the Redskins & Capitals, and am currently living in Waco, Texas where I am studying the finer points of BBQ (while working on my MDiv and MBA at Baylor University). When not studying, I serve church leaders through and am the Director of Connections for Harris Creek Baptist Church's Downtown Campus.