LOS ANGELES, CA – In a desperate attempt to salvage his copy of Super Mario Bros, L.A. native and first-year University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) medical student Mac Little summoned his ACLS knowledge and started giving his flatlining Nintendo cartridge two rescue breaths.
“NOOOOOO!!!!!” screamed Little before taking a deep breath, forming a tight seal with his lips around the center of the cartridge, and giving a fast and forceful 10-second rescue blow. “Come on, COME ON!!!” he frantically blurted towards his 31-year-old childhood friend before giving a second rescue breath.
Though cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is typically reserved for the emergency care of human patients, that hasn’t stopped a whole generation of adults who grew up playing with the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) from using it on “frozen” game cartridges of old favorites like Metroid, Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, Mega Man 2, Tetris, Double Dragon, or The Legend of Zelda.
“The fact of the matter is that many of these adults, no matter if they are working nowadays in the health care field or not, were implementing CPR on these cartridges as children, before they even took any BLS or ACLS courses,” explained Dr. Jerome Louis, spokesperson for the American Heart Association (AHA), as he blows into his favorite NES game of all-time, Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse. “If you ask me, that’s pretty remarkable… Damn it, work now, WORK!”
When Little’s two rescue breaths didn’t improve the condition of the Nintendo cartridge and simply covered it with saliva, he moved to the next steps on the ACLS Nintendo algorithm: hitting the Reset button, turning it off and on, and giving the cartridge slot both rescue breaths and compressions. After over 35 seconds of persistence, the resuscitation efforts paid off.
“PHEW, that was a close one!!!” shouted a joyful Little, grabbing his controller and moving to the final step of the protocol: rescuing Princess Toadstool. He shrugged his shoulders and smiled. “Works every time!”