High Praise for Catonsville High Bystander Response in Girl's Emergency

But parents questioned protocol after an ambulance dispatched to the scene arrived at another area.

A day after a on the field at , parents and school officials are praising the quick thinking of bystanders and coaches who came to the girl's rescue.

Breanna Sudano collapsed and was not breathing after her junior varsity team field hockey team played Catonsville around 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Lindsey Springer, the varsity coach for Catonsville's field hockey team, said that multiple parents and coaches rushed to the field to help perform CPR on Sudano.

High School Principal Deborah Bittner and Athletic Director David Lane said Catonsville JV coach Christine Erlichman, one of the Perry Hall coaches and two parents with CPR training, administered CPR to Sudando. The parents were identified as Shelly Hunt and Melissa Law.

Coaches who work for Baltimore County are required to be trained in CPR, according to schools spokesperson Charles Herndon.

But parents also questioned the route of emergency personnel called to the scene.

Parents at the game told Patch that when the ambulance arrived, it went to the parking lot above the stadium at Hilltop Road, instead of the entrance on Valley Road, which is typically the entrance ambulances use to access the field. It was another several minutes before the ambulance made it down to the lower field, parents said.

"It was frustrating to see them to go the wrong lot," said Beth Reymann, a parent who was at the game and watched the ambulance go to the parking lot.

"When you're watching them do CPR, it seemed like forever," Reymann said.

Elise Armacost, a spokeswoman for county police and emergency response services, said that the call was dispatched at 5:08 p.m. A fire engine and an EMS supervisor arrived on the scene one second before 5:12 p.m., Armacost said.

Once the first crew arrived, emergency personnel immediately started attending to the patient, she said.

"What we're concerned about with any medical call is to get any unit there as quickly as possible."

Armacost said did not know why the ambulance went to that particular parking lot first.

Reymann, who is also president of the Comet Booster Club, said she has talked with school officials about the idea of adding more signs at all of the school's parking lots to direct visitors and help prevent another such occurrence.

Lane said he has also provided maps and directions to all area emergency response units.

All schools are also provided with automated external defibrillators (AEDs) but the AED was not available on the field on Tuesday, Bittner said. There is no school system policy for defibrillators to be on a field during an athletic event, Herndon said.

The school is going to look at having an AED kept at the stadium for games, Bittner said. The school has four AEDs.

Bill Seiler, a media relations representative for the University of Maryland Medical Center, said Sudano's "condition was good" on Wednesday afternoon.

James Clements October 02, 2011 at 12:13 AM
I don't know the accurate times for the 9-1-1 call, when it was dispatched but Bruce is correct-as soon as the nature & an address of a call is indicated, the operator sends it electroniclly to the Fire & Police dispatchers. More information is gathered for the use of responders; something sometimes critical for everyone's safety. I'm glad the young lady is O.K. but I'm also glad for those who helped with CPR. Again, the question remains, why was not one of the school's AED in the hands of their coach prior to the start of the game? I'm a FF/paramedic living in Perry Hall and have always wondered why not.
Comet crazy October 02, 2011 at 01:48 PM
I'd like to know how many of those on here who are comfortable critiquing the process have their CPR certification. Perhaps the initial finger-pointing should be towards one's self. Can we please focus on the outcome here? A girl's life was saved by the many good people of this town, period.
Comet crazy October 02, 2011 at 04:21 PM
If you are CPR qualified, then my comments were not directed toward you, Mrs. White. My point is to demonstrate how easy it seems to become to point fingers at "policy" or "process" when there are equally caring individuals (like emt drivers, paramedics, athletic directors, etc) behind said "policy" who may be affected by such comments. What if the field hockey team took the AED equipment to the field, and it happened to be a football player on the adjacent field who needed it that day, and no one knew where it was... I'd say that the outcome demonstrates that we were prepared......to do what was necessary INDEPENDENT of the process.....that is as it should be. And my name is not false - I am Comet crazy :)
mary October 05, 2011 at 05:32 PM
We all need to be thankful that Breanna is ok and stop the finger pointing. We need to be thankful for the quick response on the field. We also need to consider the players that were on the field at the time and what they witnessed. I was not there but every adult I spoke with said that it was surreal. We are adults, they are teenagers and I know that my daughter has never experienced what she experienced that day on the field and I also know that she nor any of the other girls will ever forget. They witnessed a miracle, Breanna's life was saved that day because of the quickness on the field.
Perry Hall Mom October 07, 2011 at 03:25 PM
In some other states, it's required that an ambulance be on site for all school sports activities. Something to think about! Having one AED in a school wouldn't be enough as there multiple games going on inside/outside the school at the same time. Each Balto County school should have one assigned to a trained adult/coach at each game. It might mean buying four but if it saves just one life - it's money well spent!!


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