Reporting John Lauritsen
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RED WING (WCCO) — It was something she hoped she never had to use, but a Red Wing High School nurse says an AED helped her save a student’s life.
On Jan. 20, nurse Kris Klassen was called to the school’s gymnasium. That’s where she found a student who had collapsed and wasn’t breathing. His body was cold and his hands had turned blue.
“It’s traumatic. Watching somebody lying there and you don’t know if they will live or die,” said Klassen. “Basically, at that point I had no idea if he would come out of it or not.”
At that point, she told her staff to call 911 and began CPR. Because the boy had gone into cardiac arrest, she asked for an AED.
There are two AEDs located in the high school. Luckily, one of them was located just above the gym were the boy collapsed. Principal Beth Borgen grabbed the defibrillator and brought it to Klassen. She shocked the student three times, and did CPR in between.
“I asked Kris if she needed help, because there were other people looking to take over. She said ‘no, he’s mine. I’ve got this,’” said Borgen.
Klassen, along with the help of paramedics who arrived a short time later, got the boy’s heart beating again.
It was an experience that will stay with her the rest of her life.
“It’s a great feeling to save a life. I’m really glad I had all the help I did. I can’t explain how good it feels,” said Klassen.
Klassen says it took a team to save the boy, including staff member Mark Langenwalter, who helped with CPR.
In addition to being the school district’s nurse, Klassen also works in ER at the Fairview Red Wing Medical Center.
The student is now recovering at St. Mary’s Hospital in Red Wing. He will need a pacemaker, but there is a good chance he will be able to return to school at some point.