Newly installed defibrillator and CPR saved man's life after he collapsed at tennis court

Video report by ITV News Meridian's James Davies

An amateur tennis player who suffered a cardiac arrest while playing with friends says he owes his life to the quick thinking of one club member and a newly installed defibrillator.

David Johnson collapsed and stopped breathing at Kingsgate Lawn Tennis Club in Winchester two weeks ago.

The 70-year-old said: "I laid on the court, not breathing, heart not pumping, no pulse. So I was out for the count."

Dr Michael Heard, a tennis club member, was there when Mr Johnson collapsed and rushed over to help.

Kingsgate Lawn Tennis Club

He said: "So we started CPR on him. He got quite a lot of colour back because we started it quickly, and he had oxygenated blood still in his system.

"But the machine said 'shock advise' so we all stood back and it gave him a large shock which worked.

"About two or three minutes later he regained consciousness."

The tennis club is now giving more than 80 of its members first aid training - to protect more lives.

Things to know about cardiac arrest

What is cardiac arrest?

Cardiac arrest is when your heart stops pumping blood, your brain is starved of oxygen. This causes you to fall unconscious and stop breathing. (Source: British Heart Foundation)

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What causes cardiac arrest?

A common cause of a cardiac arrest is a life-threatening abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation (VF).

VF happens when the electrical activity of the heart becomes so chaotic that the heart stops pumping, Instead, it quivers or 'fibrillates'.

The main causes of cardiac arrest related to the heart are:

Some other causes of cardiac arrest include:

  • electrocution

  • a drug overdose

  • a severe haemorrhage (known as hypovolaemic shock) – losing a large amount of blood

  • hypoxia - caused by a severe drop in oxygen levels. 

(Source: British Heart Foundation)

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What do you do if someone is having a cardiac arrest?

If you're with someone who's having a cardiac arrest, call 999, start CPR and use a defibrillator if there’s one nearby. Follow instructions from the 999 operator until emergency services take over. (Source: British Heart Foundation)

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