Mehmet Oz is a television doctor but he also is a licensed thoracic surgeon who knows how to handle real-life medical emergencies. Dr. Oz was instrumental in helping to save a man’s life at a New Jersey airport on March 1, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Officials said Oz helped perform CPR on a passenger who suffered from cardiac arrest and collapsed at Newark Liberty International Airport. Oz later explained on Twitter that he stepped in because “as a physician and a human being, it’s our responsibility to jump in when there’s a medical emergency.”
Here’s what you need to know:
The Patient Collapsed Near the Baggage Claim & Oz Said the Man Didn’t Have a Pulse
Thank you @DrOz and our brave PAPD team of officers Michael Bock, Matthew Vecchione, Daniel Olbrich, and Jeffrey Croissant (pictured left) who provided life-saving #CPR to a passenger in cardiac arrest last night at @EWRairport. #cprsaveslives pic.twitter.com/QEorDtA3ar
— Port Authority of NY & NJ. Wear a Face Covering. (@PANYNJ) March 2, 2021
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey took to social media to thank Oz and four officers with the Port Authority Police Department for providing “life-saving CPR to a passenger in cardiac arrest.” The organization named officers Michael Bock, Matthew Vecchione, Daniel Olbrich, and Jeffrey Croissant in a tweet.
In an interview with TMZ, Oz explained that he was at the airport with his wife and daughter that night. They were standing near the baggage claim when he said his daughter yelled for him to “come quick.” Oz said he turned around and saw that a “big burly gentleman” had fallen on the ground and was laying on his face.
Oz said he rushed over and started performing CPR once he realized the man did not have a pulse. He explained to TMZ that the man had what looked like “foam” coming out of his mouth. Oz said at that point, one of the police officers took over CPR while Oz worked to “control his airway.”
Emergency responders brought a defibrillator and Oz said they shocked the patient “at the highest power possible,” which prompted the heart to start beating again on its own. Oz said the man regained consciousness and was “coming to” by the time he was being wheeled out on a stretcher to go to the hospital. But Oz said the man didn’t remember what had happened.
According to NBC New York, the patient was a New Jersey man in his 60s. Witnesses said the crowd near the baggage claim had just returned on a flight from West Palm Beach, Florida. The outlet added that as of March 2, the patient was in intensive care at the hospital and undergoing tests.
Oz Used the Emergency to Stress the Importance of Learning How to Perform CPR
Here's more information on how you can perform CPR if you ever find yourself in a similar situation: https://t.co/wUChbo20Kv
— Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) March 2, 2021
Oz addressed the airport emergency in a series of tweets to his nearly 4 million Twitter followers. He discussed performing CPR on the man and how the defibrillator had been crucial in resuscitating the man.
Oz went on to stress that it is important for people to learn how to properly perform CPR in case of emergencies just like this. He shared a link to his show’s website that explains the warning signs of cardiac arrest and CPR basics. Oz emphasizes that calling 911 should be the first course of action in every case. The page explains the basics of performing CPR: “Place one hand over the person’s breast bone and your other hand on top of that one. Lean over the body to use your entire body weight to pump, and push down about two inches into the chest and then repeat.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 70% to 90% of patients who suffer cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting die before reaching an emergency room. The American Heart Association adds that cardiac arrest claims the lives of about 475,000 Americans each year. But according to the association, based on data from 2014, “nearly 45% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims survived when bystander CPR was administered.”
Oz Has Been Licensed to Practice Medicine in New York Since 1987, State Health Department Records Show
Oz sometimes faces skepticism from critics who question whether he is a real doctor. According to the New York State Department of Health, Oz is still a licensed physician with hospital privileges at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Oz also claims on his show’s website that he “performs dozens of heart operations annually. His research interests include heart replacement surgery, minimally invasive surgery, alternative medicine and healthcare policy.”
Oz’s profile on the state’s website notes that he earned a medical degree from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 1986 and has been licensed to practice medicine in the state since August 13, 1987. Oz focused on general surgery during his residency at New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s Columbia campus. He then completed a thoracic surgery program in 1993.
But Oz does not appear to have kept his board certifications up-to-date. According to the New York State Department of Health, Oz’s certification with the American Board of Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery expired at the end of 2014.
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