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Format: 04/17/2014
Format: 04/17/2014


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Quick actions of physicians, PNC Park staff, saved man's life

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

By Kaitlynn Riely

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

On a cloudy Sunday at PNC Park, during the third inning of a game between the Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds, Charles Trimble died and was brought back to life.

Mr. Trimble, 60, of Corry, Erie County, suffered a cardiac arrest, and for 10 to 15 minutes on Aug. 23 he had no pulse.

"He was dead," said Dr. Jerome Granato, the medical director of the Coronary Care Unit at Allegheny General Hospital. "You can only stay dead for a limited amount of time before the organs are irreversibly damaged."

A lifelong Reds fan, Mr. Trimble was at the afternoon game with his wife, Sharon, and their 4-year-old grandson.

As the game was under way, Mrs. Trimble took their grandson to buy a toy. While they were gone, her husband started feeling short of breath. The family in front of him asked if he was OK, but instead of answering, he slumped over in his seat and his face turned gray.

Luckily for him, the president and scientific director of Allegheny General Hospital's Allegheny-Singer Research Institute was sitting 40 feet away. He saw the situation and rushed over to perform CPR and chest compressions.

After a few minutes of compressions, Dr. Christopher Post, a pediatric ear, nose and throat specialist and a colonel in the Army Reserves, saw Mr. Trimble, a retired Air Force major, grimace. It was a good sign, he said.

PNC staff members and paramedics arrived with a portable defibrillator, one of more than a dozen in the ballpark. PNC staff members are trained for these types of situations, said Dennis DaPra, PNC Park executive vice president and general manager. They comforted Mrs. Trimble and took her information, and led her grandson away to get him popcorn and a slushie.

Mr. Trimble was taken to Allegheny General Hospital in an ambulance, and PNC Park employees drove Mrs. Trimble and her car to meet him.

At the hospital, doctors lowered Mr. Trimble's body temperature several degrees to allow his organs to recover and avoid damage. He experienced some problems in the early stages of his recovery, resulting from limited blood supply to his kidneys, liver and brain in the minutes his heart wasn't pumping. He had pneumonia symptoms and was on oxygen for a few days


To read more, visit the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette web site.

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