Price Chopper Supermarkets Make Seven Priceless Saves
On an early morning in May, Michael Peters, Co- Manager of the Price Chopper in Shrewsbury, Mass., was looking forward to his day off. As usual, he decided to check in on the supermarket he had been managing for 10 years before heading to New Hampshire to visit his son.
Just as he was leaving the store, he heard someone yell, “Someone’s fallen down” and saw one of his regular customers, Catherine,* lying on the floor. As with all emergencies, Michael immediately paged over the intercom for any doctor, nurse, or other medical professional to come to the front of the store. “Most of the time, there is someone with medical knowledge in the store, and the announcement also alerts all employees trained in CPR and the AED to come up front,” said Michael.
A grocery manager and the produce manager, who had been retrained in CPR and how to use the automated external defibrillator (AED) with Michael only two weeks earlier, answered the call. “The fact that we had training so close to this emergency was a blessing for sure,” added Michael.
Since Catherine was breathing, Michael did not immediately call for the AED. When her breathing became shallow and less frequent, Michael began CPR, and the produce manager raced to retrieve the AED. An off-duty police officer who was in the store helped Michael hook up the ZOLL AED Plus® to Catherine. It analyzed her heart rhythm and advised no shock, so Michael continued CPR.
Like half of people who suffer sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), Catherine did not need to be shocked. But like all victims of SCA, she did need high-quality CPR to get blood flowing to her vital organs again.
The American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care say that in most emergencies, the quality of CPR the rescuer provides can make the difference between life and death. But even trained professionals often do not perform CPR effectively and can benefit significantly from monitoring and support. A research study also shows that audiovisual CPR feedback improves the quality of chest compressions health care providers deliver.
ZOLL’s AED Plus provides Real CPR Help® technology, which gives rescuers real-time depth and rate feedback on the CPR they are delivering. This guidance can improve CPR quality and give them the confidence that they are providing good-quality CPR. ZOLL was the first to introduce CPR feedback technology in 2002 to help improve CPR performance.
“I felt like I was hurting this woman—I could hear and feel her bones—but the AED prompted me to ‘Push Harder,’ so I did,” said Michael. “The fact that the AED advised me to push harder, and then told me I was giving good compressions, gave me the confidence to do what it was telling me to do.”
After a few cycles of CPR and AED analysis, the paramedics arrived. They instructed Michael to continue CPR as they readied their equipment. Catherine was then rushed to the hospital and underwent surgery the following day to implant an ICD (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator).
A few weeks later, Catherine came back to the Price Chopper to shop and say thank you. “I couldn’t believe it,” said Michael. “She was just walking around and doing her shopping! I’m so thankful that Price Chopper, number one, has equipped our stores with AEDs, and number two, provides the training to keep everyone fresh and refreshed.”
Price Chopper’s AED Program
Since Price Chopper began its AED program in 2008, the supermarket chain has had seven successful saves. Owned by Schenectady, New York–based Golub Corporation, Price Chopper has 144 AEDs across 132 stores in New England, New York, and Pennsylvania. More than 1,000 employees are trained every two years, since the company requires that there are nine trained responders in every location. One of the company’s safety mandates is to make sure appropriate tools and equipment are available, that they are properly maintained, and that their use is encouraged.
To help Price Chopper manage its expansive AED and CPR program, the company works with Adirondack Health & Wellness. Adirondack makes sure the chain’s equipment is in proper working order, employees are trained, and the AED program is in compliance with state requirements. Price Chopper, also in partnership with Adirondack, has donated AED units and training to local youth sports leagues and a school through the Hearts of New York program. Jerry Golub, president and CEO of Price Chopper, believes that “being helpful” from assisting customers to supporting the community—is critical to the success of the company.
“It’s certainly easy to understand how being helpful is a key to our ability to deliver a great customer experience,” said Jerry Golub. “But our focus clearly extends beyond the traditional day-to-day interactions that we have with our customers. As a corporate citizen and family of teammates dedicated to improving and sustaining the world around us, we endeavor to help our trade, community, and environmental partners as well. Ultimately, being able and equipped to respond to the very real needs of those around us is an integral part of our culture.”
The company mission of being helpful has taken on new meaning as team members have actually helped to save lives.
*The name of the survivor has been withheld for privacy.