Staff at COVID-19 testing clinic help revive man suffering heart attack while playing hockey

Inside of a public access defibrillator, with instructions on its use. (Shaun Vardon / CTV News Ottawa)

Staff members of a COVID-19 testing clinic helped revive a man in his 60s who suffered a heart attack while playing hockey.

A joint release from the Ottawa Paramedic Service and the Montfort Hospital said the man suddenly collapsed during hockey practice at the Ray Friel Recreation Complex on Friday and stopped breathing. Teammates started CPR and sought help.

A staff member at the COVID-19 assessment centre at the arena, operated by Montfort, notified her colleagues.

Nurse Alessa Faubert and Dr. Antoine Gagnon quickly grabbed the arena's public access defibrillator and gave the man two shocks, at which point he regained consciousness and began breathing on his own again.

"The quick response of the players and staff present gave him the best chance of survival," the release said.

Ottawa paramedics arrived a short time later and took the man to the hospital.

There are approximately 1,000 public access defibrillators across Ottawa in arenas, libraries and other public spaces.

The Ottawa Paramedic Service says the Public Access Defibrillation Program has helped save more than 140 lives since it was started in 2001.