Los Angeles: On the afternoon of August 17, 2015, Sergeant Robin Petillo set in motion a successful effort to save the life of a man involved in a traffic collision after he was no longer breathing and his heartbeat was undetectable.
Sergeant Petillo was driving southbound on the 110 Freeway approaching the 405 Freeway when she encountered a five-car collision that had just occurred. Stopping to render aid, she noticed an unconscious male driver who was trapped in his vehicle. Immediately, she requested an ambulance and tried to pry open the door of the badly damaged car. Unable to open the door by herself, she was finally successful with the help of three unidentified people at the scene and was able to approach the injured driver still inside his car.
Unfortunately, she determined he was not breathing and did not have a heartbeat; so she immediately administered chest compressions while waiting for help to arrive. In a short time, three additional officers arrived at the scene and were able to remove the man from his car. They also administered more chest compressions, along with rescue breaths, for about 10 minutes until an ambulance arrived.
According to the American Heart Association, about 92 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching a hospital.
The driver was rushed to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center where he was revived and underwent a successful emergency surgery, after which he was placed in an intensive care unit. Dr. Rohit Sharma, a physician involved in the surgery, believed the officers’ actions that day literally saved the victim’s life.
Questions or requests for interviews may be directed to the Southeast Division watch commander’s office by calling (213) 978-7828.