Training Can Be a Real Life Saver
By Jeanne Ridgway
By Bob Shryock
Gloucester County Times | October 20, 2007
Sanford “Sandy” Gips witnessed the death of a close friend and high school classmate in Cleveland, Ohio when they were both 17 years old. His friend, who was jogging, died of a heart attack. His friend’s father was a cardiologist whose bookshelves were crammed with medical books.
So the irony has never been lost on Gips. Regardless of the volume of knowledge physicians have, there’s little that can be done for a victim of sudden cardiac arrest without the presence of an automated external defibrillator (AED) or someone who is trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Motivated partly by his friend’s death, Gips is now Dr. Sanford Gips — a cardiologist.
And the memory of the event motivates him to offer AED and CPR training, free of charge, to the public.
Believing that AEDs should be as common in homes as smoke detectors, Gips’ 24-member cardiologist team, Cardiovascular Associates of the Delaware Valley (CADV), provides periodic training through the “Save a Life Initiative” he created.
The next training session will be today at the Washington Township Senior Center, 315 Greentree Road, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with Gips presiding.
Gips, who resides in Moorestown, has six South Jersey offices including Sewell, Sicklerville, and Elmer.
He said he “pitched the idea” to his fellow cardiologists about a year ago and received positive response.
“My idea,” Gips says, “is to encourage people to purchase a defibrillator.” He notes that fewer than one in 1,000 have one. AEDs are designed to allow people who are minimally trained to respond to cardiac emergencies. They’re programmed to analyze the heart’s electrical function and provide stimulation to the heart.
Gips will speak at today’s session and also offer training. His wife, Debra, son, Gordon, 15, and daughter, Julia, 12, also will participate.
Gips, who received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins, is Assistant Medical Director at Cooper Center for Interventional Cardiology and Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at UMDNJ School of Medicine.