MoCo Highlight: Two Employees at Kensington’s Anytime Fitness Save Member Who Collapsed After Cardiac Arrest

Kevin “KP” Phipps and Lee Ventura were in the office of Anytime Fitness in Kensington while KP has a brief break in between clients around 4pm yesterday. That’s when they heard a noise that was different than the usual thud they were used to from weights dropping.

Both men ran to the gym floor, where a gym member informed them that another member had fallen from the machine he was working out on. KP immediately dove to the ground to check on the member, who was unresponsive. Lee called 911 and got the AED, which took about 30 seconds. In this time, the member (who was one of KP’s clients),  stopped breathing and turned purple so the men knew that they had to act fast.

Another member and KP rolled the man onto his side and pulled his shirt up to prepare him for the automated external defibrillator (AED). An AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the life-threatening cardiacarrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation (VF) and pulseless ventricular tachycardia, and is able to treat them through defibrillation, the application of electricity which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm.

Patches were applied and AED directions were followed. Following the shock administered by the machine, KP started compressions until the paramedics came. The member, who is 79 years old, went from purple back to his normal shade. He was breathing again by the time the paramedics arrived.

“You’re doing great, do not stop the compressions.” the paramedics told KP as they were setting up. The paramedics determined the man’s heart rate and blood pressure was nearly back to normal. He was unconscious, but stable. The patient was taken to Suburban hospital and KP went to visit him after work, showing up around 7:20. He wanted to bring the man his glasses and hearing aid. Upon arrival, he was told that the patient was moved from the emergency room to the ICU, which was a good sign. He is expected to make it due to the heroic actions of Kevin “KP” Phipps and Lee Ventura.

Employees of the gym had just participated in a CPR recertification class last Friday and never would have imagined it would come in handy so soon. KP told us he isn’t a stranger to saving lives- he once performed the Heimlich maneuver in a DC restaurant in 2019, saving someone who was choking.

We commend both men on their heroic actions.


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