Dental patient filled with gratitude after dentist saves his life

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A dental patient from Cornwall said there are no words to describe how grateful he is to his dentist, after he saved his life just before Christmas.

David Oldham was waiting to see a dentist at Wadebridge Dental Care when he fell ill. The 66-year old has very little recollection of the incident, but remembers being surrounded by people. When David collapsed in the waiting room on the 19th December, receptionist Jill Constance ran to get help from dentist, Brian Needham.

Brian was in the process of treating a patient, but came immediately, and his training as a paramedic for 22 years and experience as a dentist enabled him to save David’s life. Brian worked with Jill and practice owner, Andy, to carry out CPR and use a defibrillator to restart David’s heart. Brian recognised the signs of cardiac arrest and was able to act rapidly. It was also hugely fortunate the practice had a defibrillator on-site.

Paramedics arrived at the practice 4 minutes after the 999 call was made, and an air ambulance was also sent to take David to hospital. By the time he made it to the helicopter, he was able to answer questions and move his leg.

Andy Taylor, the practice owner, said that David’s case highlights the importance of having life-saving equipment available, and he hopes that dentists from other practices are inspired by this story.

David said that he was incredibly lucky to have survived the ordeal, and will be forever indebted to Brian and the team.

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