Two New Jersey Athletic Trainers Team Up to Save the Life of a Spectator

David Csillan, Head Athletic Trainer

On January 30, 2015, David Csillan, Head Athletic Trainer with Ewing High School and Tammy Osterhout, Assistant Athletic Trainer with Rancocas Valley High School were taking in their respective team’s game at the Jeff Coney Classic Tournament. David decided to travel to the game that night, which is not something he ordinarily does. Tammy was working the game as the host site Athletic Trainer. Following the game, Ewing High School Athletic Director Bud Kowal ran into the Blue Devils’ locker room. He told Csillan that he was needed in the stands.                 Upon arrival, Mr. Csillan found an elderly gentleman lying on his back and lodged between the bleachers. Those spectators who were around the man informed David that the spectator had suffered a seizure. David instructed Mr. Kowal to inform Ms. Osterhout of the situation has he performed his initial evaluation. Mr. Csillan noticed that the individual was breathing and moving his head a small amount. As Ms. Osterhout made her way to the location of the incident, Mr. Csillan supported the victims head. Ms. Osterhout arrived within seconds of being summoned and the two Athletic Trainers determined that the victim needed to be moved from his location in the bleachers to the court. With assistance from those around them, the victim was picked up and brought down to the court.                 Once on the court, another assessment was performed and it was discovered that the victim no longer had a pulse. Ms. Osterhout retrieved the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) while Mr. Csillan provided rescue breaths through a bag valve mask (BVM) and another spectator, who happened to be an EMT, performed compressions. As Ms. Osterhout returned with the AED, applied the pads and delivered a shock the victim vomited and Mr. Csillan was able to suction the victim’s mouth to clear the airway. CPR was continued until the EMTs and Paramedics arrived and began an IV.                 For the next 25 minutes the two Athletic Trainers, EMTs, and Paramedics all worked seamlessly to provide exceptional care. After 5 shocks from the AED and cycles of CPR, the victim was escorted by ambulance to a nearby hospital. Electrical activity was detected in the victim’s heart by the time he reached the emergency room. He was placed on life support and a surgery was performed. We are happy to report that the individual is doing well and currently on the road to recovery.                 Athletic Trainers prove time and time again to be not only a valuable, but a necessary part of any athletic event. They are trained to save lives, whether they are on or off the playing surface. This is just another example of the work Athletic Trainers are capable of doing. For more information on Athletic Training in New Jersey please visit or for our national website please visit