Doctors unable to find defibrillator at JFK

January 7, 2011 8:29:42 AM PST
Two doctors from Long Island are credited with saving the life of a man at Kennedy Airport.

He went into cardiac arrest inside terminal 4 Wednesday night and the doctors came to the rescue, despite some challenges.

"Where are the AEDs? Why isn't it more available to the public? Why can't we find it, why can't we see it?" said Dr. Bruce Decter, a cardiologist.

They are life-saving questions Dr. Bruce Decter asks as to the whereabouts of the automatic external defibrillators or AEDs.

One of them was critically needed at JFK's terminal 4 after a passenger suddenly collapsed and started to turn blue.

"I felt the pulse. I listened for breathing. I found none. I started the CPR," Dr. Decter said.

With Dr. Scott Danoff, a dentist at his side, Dr. Decter also asks someone to call 911 and for the AED.

"I really repeated, 'Where's the AED?'" Dr. Decter said.

"I was thinking about it the whole time, all during the chest compressions, you're looking around to see who is coming with an AED and there was nobody coming in," said Dr. Scott Danoff, a dentist.

A Port Authority Police officer, who also responded, ran to get a portable device according to the doctors.

It's unknown where he retrieved the AED.

"But by that time, the patient was revived," Dr. Decter said.

"It was nowhere to be found, and the chances are it is hidden behind some piece of equipment or some barrier or some x-ray machine they use for security purposes," Dr. Danoff said.

The private company that manages terminal 4 did not respond to Eyewitness News' calls for comment or request to see the placement of the AEDs.

The doctors say they should be more visible.

"Maybe put it on a column somewhere, on a wall, but maybe put a one food wide red stripe going up 10 feet," Dr. Danoff said.

"It was the most frustrating thing not to have that device, and I find we were very lucky that he survived," Dr. Decter said.

Port Authority Officials say that there are defibrillators in terminal 4 and that many of them were placed there with an expansion of the program in 2006.

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