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Brett MacLean suffers cardiac emergency


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http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=399869

COYOTES' MACLEAN SUFFERS CARDIAC EMERGENCY PLAYING HOCKEY

TSN.ca Staff

7/3/2012 9:02:18 PM

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The Phoenix Coyotes say that forward Brett MacLean suffered a cardiac emergency on Monday night in Owen Sound, Ontario.

"Brett was playing hockey last night when he suffered a medical emergency," said Coyotes general manager Don Maloney in a statement. "Brett received CPR on site and was taken to a local hospital by ambulance where he was treated. He was then transported via an air ambulance to Knight University Hospital in London, Ontario where he was admitted to the cardiac ICU.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Brett and his family," Maloney continued. "We request that everyone please respect their privacy at this time. We will provide an update on Brett's status when information is available."

The 23-year-old spent the majority of last season in the American Hockey League with the Portland Pirates, where he had 25 goals and 23 assists in 63 games.

He has appeared in 18 NHL games with Winnipeg and Phoenix, where he compiled two goals and three assists. He was selected by the Coyotes in the second round of the 2007 Draft.

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http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=399869

COYOTES' MACLEAN SUFFERS CARDIAC EMERGENCY PLAYING HOCKEY

TSN.ca Staff

7/3/2012 9:02:18 PM

Text Size

The Phoenix Coyotes say that forward Brett MacLean suffered a cardiac emergency on Monday night in Owen Sound, Ontario.

"Brett was playing hockey last night when he suffered a medical emergency," said Coyotes general manager Don Maloney in a statement. "Brett received CPR on site and was taken to a local hospital by ambulance where he was treated. He was then transported via an air ambulance to Knight University Hospital in London, Ontario where he was admitted to the cardiac ICU.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Brett and his family," Maloney continued. "We request that everyone please respect their privacy at this time. We will provide an update on Brett's status when information is available."

The 23-year-old spent the majority of last season in the American Hockey League with the Portland Pirates, where he had 25 goals and 23 assists in 63 games.

He has appeared in 18 NHL games with Winnipeg and Phoenix, where he compiled two goals and three assists. He was selected by the Coyotes in the second round of the 2007 Draft.

Damn thats sad to hear. Hope he recovers. Thank God he was saved many aren't.

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Frightening story to hear.....wonder if there was some hidden heart defect or something.

I got to see him play down here in SATX for 3 yrs. The guy Has a knack for scoring goals. He is the all time leading goal scorer for San Antonio. Really great guy. He stayed in SATX one summer and played in the men's league. Hate to see this kind of thing for any young athlete. Unfortunately, this will probably end his hockey career.

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Wow.

Whenever The Generals were in town I'd go to see Tavares play. For some reason he never brought his "A" game to Barrie, but Maclean always did. If I was a scout and only saw the two play here, Maclean definately would have went before Tavares. And it wasn't even close.

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@AlaskaFlyerFan

How Brett MacLean’s life was saved by his pick-up hockey friends

During the offseason, like so many other NHL and AHL players, Brett MacLean gets back to his roots and plays hockey locally. There's a group of guys in Owen Sound with whom the 23-year-old Phoenix Coyotes forward has played twice a week every July and August since he was in junior hockey.

Last week, they saved his life.

During a game at Regional Rec Center, MacLean collapsed suddenly onto the ice. The other players reacted, at first, like MacLean was pulling a gag, joking about it as he was sprawled on the frozen surface.

Then MacLean started to convulse. He was going into cardiac arrest.

Players Jason Gallagher and Jason Silverthorn began CPR on MacLean.

"It's not easy performing CPR on someone you know very well and not knowing the outcome," said Gallagher, who has taken CPR classes at least 10 times, to the Calgary Sun.

Jay Forslund, an off-duty firefighter, called the police and sought out the automated external defibrillator into the Regional Rec Center. Three minutes after he collapsed, his heart was shocked. When the paramedics arrived, they administered two more shocks. MacLean's pulse had returned in eight minutes.

He was airlifted to University Hospital in London, and was moved out of intensive care late last week.

"We're eternally grateful to them," Karen MacLean told the Owen Sound Sun Times. "Absolutely there's no question, his outcome is partially related to his good health and his strong fit body, but also because of the attention by the bystanders, the defibrillator machine and the ambulance."

She thanked Gallagher when he visited MacLean in the hospital.

"Remarkable, a miracle. No other word to describe it. The last time I saw him, he had no vital signs and we were performing CPR on him. And within a few days he's walking around and shaking my hand," Gallagher told the Sun Times last week.

"I can't emphasize how incredible it is what our medical professionals are able to do, because literally on Monday night, he had no vital signs, and this is Friday morning and he's up walking around. I'm still in awe."

The players' life-saving moves have been lauded as a reason why automated external defibrillators should be mandatory in every rink. Their exploits even made news in Wales, where Silverthorn was a 100-point player for Cardiff.

On July 7, MacLean used his Twitter feed to thank all of his well-wishers — and his buddies from the rink.

"Great to see Jason Silverthorn today. I owe a lot to him Jason Gallagher and Jay Forslund. They helped save my life.

Thank you. Slowly starting to feel better. Thank you to all the paramedics doctors and nurses who haves helped me get this far. Feeling very lucky. Also thank you to everyone for the support and well wishes. Truly means a lot to me and my family through this tough time.

"It's crazy how quickly things can change. Make sure you don't take life for granted and always make time for things you enjoy.

His mother said last Friday that Brett is "improving hourly." The family hopes tests this week will reveal the source of his cardiac arrest.

Reminds me of the Russian draft pick, Cherepanov, who wasn't so fortunate.

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@hf101,

I used to be pretty good with the cardiac disorders when I worked in the ICU, but that was 20 yrs ago. I remember studying up on "Sudden Death Syndrome" and that sounds like what happened with Brett. It isn't really a "heart attack" or Myocardial infarction in the true sense. Something happens to interupt the normal electrical activity of the heart and the heart goes into ventricular fibrillation.

"Only 20 percent of cases exhibit symptoms, for the other 80 percent the first symptom is death."

http://www.medicinenet.com/sudden_cardiac_death/article.htm

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/SPORT/football/08/11/sudden.death.syndrome/index.html

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  • 2 months later...

UPDATE:

Brett MacLean was in the prime of his life.

Just 23 years old and coming off a 25-goal season in the American Hockey League, MacLean was working towards a full-time spot with the Phoenix Coyotes this summer when he joined some friends in Owen Sound, Ont., for a pick-up game.

Little did he know, it would be the last time he pulled on skates as a professional.

"I remember going to the arena and going on the ice and that's it," MacLean said during a recent interview. "I guess 40 minutes in I made a pass and just collapsed."

He was experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. In top physical shape, and with no history of heart disease, MacLean's life hung in the balance. The survival rate in Canada for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests is just five per cent.

Fortunately for MacLean, there were people around who started acting quickly. Two fellow players performed CPR until a local firefighter could retrieve the arena's automatic external defibrillator -- better known as an AED -- and shock him back to life.

Paramedics soon arrived and he was eventually airlifted to a hospital in London.

"I was lucky," said MacLean. "It just kind of shows that it can happen to anyone."

The miracle that saved his life was accompanied by news that he'd have to end his hockey career. With the cause of MacLean's cardiac arrest unknown, doctors inserted an implantable cardiac defibrillator, which will monitor his heart for abnormalities and prevent him from participating in contact sports.

However, MacLean had vowed to turn his experience into something positive before he was even discharged from hospital.

He quickly made contact with the Heart and Stroke Foundation through his Twitter account and took part in the launch of the charity's new awareness campaign last week in downtown Toronto. Just three months on from a life-altering event, he's willing to speak openly about what he went through and help spread the word on behalf of the foundation.

"The more people that know CPR, the more lives we're going to save," said MacLean.

Life has slowly started returning to normal for him. MacLean plans to eventually enroll in some courses with an eye on landing a job in the sports industry, and feels well enough physically to be able to run.

He even returned to the ice for a light skate recently and is thrilled to be exercising again.

"Obviously, I was a little cautious the first time," MacLean said. "But more than being nervous I think I was just excited to do things I did before and move back to being myself."

One of the lasting memories he'll take from the experience is the outpouring of support he received from the hockey community. MacLean called it "overwhelming."

A former second-round pick of the Coyotes, he realized his childhood dream of playing in the NHL during a 13-game stint with Phoenix in 2010-11 and five games with the reborn Winnipeg Jets at the start of last season.

He was eventually reclaimed on waivers by Phoenix and spent the rest of the year with AHL Portland. However, the organization still viewed the six-foot-two winger as a potential full-time NHL player.

"We still held out some hope that he could help us down the road," said Coyotes GM Don Maloney. "Unfortunately, that's not going to happen. But the good thing is he's healthy and he can get on with his life."

MacLean is doing just that. Equally as amazing as the actions that led to his life being saved is his willingness to move forward and not feel sorry for himself.

"When I was in the hospital, I had a tough time with why this happened to me," said MacLean. "I've worked hard my whole life and I've eaten well and done the right things. ... But now I look at it like at least I'm still here and at least I'm healthy.

"I'm looking at the bright side. If I can help other people in the future then it's all worth it."

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