When the season did resume for the Blues, though, in a bubble in Edmonton in July, the team announced that Bouwmeester was not going to be with them.
It is unlikely he will ever be with the Blues — or any other NHL team — again. Yet, the former Olympic gold medalist (Sochi 2014) should still be thankful. The presence of medical professionals and their swift use of the AED made his chance of survival much greater.
A study published in 2018 in Sports Health identified 132 cases of SCA suffered among athletes age 11 to 27 between 2014 and 2016. Survival to discharge from a hospital was the result for 64, or 48% of the victims. However, if an AED was present and used promptly, the survival rate increased to 89%. Furthermore, whether an AED was available or not, if an athletic trainer was in attendance, the survival rate was 83%.
Had Bouwmeester been stricken at home or on a city street, his chance of survival would have been only 10%. Multiple studies have consistently demonstrated that rate nationwide.
A more recent study, since the onset of COVID-19, reported worse numbers. The decreased survivability was blamed on bystanders declining to do CPR, because of being fearful of catching the virus, and paramedics taking longer to arrive, due to having to don extra equipment to protect themselves from the virus.
If more members of the general public were trained and willing to do CPR, the success rate found in athletic arenas would be duplicated elsewhere.