May 12, '12 by JustBeachyNurse
My first CPR "save" really had nothing to do with the EMS response (I was a basic EMt at the time) but more with educated bystanders not afraid to act. Man with cardiac history went down unresponsive in a diner parking lot on a hot summer day in a town that many pass through on the way to a beach (in fact many vacationers stop for a bit to eat at this diner on their way to/from the beach). One bystander called 911 (this was back when AEDs were limited to medical personnel in the mid 90's) a diner employee did a quick assessment and started CPR, pocket mask on hand as he recently completed a CPR course. Other bystanders went to their vehicle and took out some sheets and placed them on the ground and held them over the patient to protect them from the hit midday sun.Our Volunteer BLS ambulance happened to be up the highway going back into service after dropping off another patient. We were on scene in less than 2 minutes from the initial 911 call. Medics were in the road and pulled up as we were attaching the AED pads. And started ACLS protocols. Patient was shocked twice, we got back a rhythm, medics intubated, scooped up the patient and beat feet to the ER. All in less than 10 minutes or so from when the man dropped. Within an hour or so the medivac helicopter was landing to transfer the patient to a tertiary hospital for cardiac cath and subsequent surgery (not a tPA candidate) (we had been back with another patient later the same afternoon, it was a bust 12hr volunteer shift)I happened to also work in the same ED as a tech and was there a month or so later when the patient with a seriously grim prognosis that July day walked in to the ER to thank the staff for their quick action. Was this ''my" save, and ER save or a medic save even? IMHO the save truly belonged to the bystanders who not only took the initiative to take a CPR course but also were apnit after aid to jump into action. (the diner employee was alerted to the situation as this was pre-everyone has a cell phone days and someone walked into the diner to ask for help to call 911). The newspaper writer saw the same POV I did and in the blurb gave the main credit to the bystanders who were not too afraid to take action in someone's dire need if life saving action. Of course BLS, ALS, and hospital staff played a part (plus odds/luck since the medical rigs were nearby and in service...active day time volunteer crews were and still are difficult to muster) but if the bystanders didn't call for help and others didn't initiate CPR another widow would likely have been created that day. It was an honor to be a part of it.
Last edit by JustBeachyNurse on May 12, '12