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“There are sedentary periods where they’re not moving, and then suddenly they’re thrown into strenuous activity in a high-pressure situation,” he said. “Studies have shown that increased pulse rates and blood pressure can last for up to 24 hours after that.”
The chain of survival
As Schneider told his story, he repeatedly tried to turn the conversation away from himself to “the team of people who helped. … I feel uncomfortable with this being all about me.”
Ironically for a man who wants to avoid the spotlight, this isn’t the first time he’s been in it — literally. When actor Warren Bowles had a heart attack onstage last year at the Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis, it was Schneider who gave him CPR.
“We didn’t have a choice” of moving him offstage, he said. He tried to ignore the fact that people were watching, “except every now and then I’d look up and see them. And when I said, ‘We have a pulse,’ they applauded.”
In addition to CPR, Schneider’s company offers classes in first aid and organizes mock emergency drills for hospitals. The number of people taking CPR classes varies, he said. Some weeks there are two classes, other weeks there might be two a day.
“We want to make sure that people are taught well,” he said. “It increases critical [patients’] survival rates.”
But talking about his own case also has its upside: It gives him a chance to remind people about the importance of CPR training.
“Everybody that was associated with this call understood CPR,” he said. “If any of them had given up, I would not be here.”
Jeff Strickler • 612-673-7392