Doctor, Nurses & Cops Save Elderly at Mass Walk Event

Posted by cocreator on March 11, 2014
Events / No Comments

A 66-year-old man who was part of Utica’s Heart Run and Walk got life-saving help after he collapsed on Saturday, and the help came from a group that says they were just ‘paying it forward.’

Michael Wofford, from Glenfield, in Lewis County, a client of the ARC, was walking at the Saturday event when he collapsed in New Hartford.

‘Team Ben,’ about 200 people associated with Utica Gastroenterologist Dr. Bradley Sklar, was right near him when he fell, at the Burrstone Road and Washington Drive intersection.

Courtney Daviau, RN, who works with Dr. Sklar, was the first to reach him. She tells us they thought he had a seizure, but then Wofford started turning blue and had no pulse. She cleared his mouth with her scarf and began giving him mouth to mouth, without a protective mask. Dr. Sklar began doing CPR.

Both, along with other nurses and medical people on the team, are certified in advanced life support, and Dr. Sklar says that getting the help almost instantly may have saved Wofford’s life, and perhaps saved him from brain damage.

State Troopers Adam Ferstand and Daniel Krajewski were nearby on traffic control duties, and got an AED from their patrol car. Wofford was shocked twice before he was revived, and Daviau says they ‘lost’ him again as he was being put into the ambulance. By last night, she says, he was well enough to eat.

Dr. Sklar got involved with the Heart Association when his son Ben was born with a heart problem, and had open heart surgery in Syracuse at two days old. He says his son (now a high school senior) would have died without that help, and now the team he’s been organizing to walk has paid it back, 18 years later, by saving another life.

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Doctors, Nurse and Bystanders Save Woman at School Meeting

Posted by cocreator on February 05, 2014
Events / No Comments

On Oct. 29, parents from western Greenwich elementary schools gathered at Hamilton Avenue School for a workshop on the Common Core State Standards.

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It began with a discussion of those new academic criteria. In an instant, though, the focus shifted. A parent collapsed; she had gone into cardiac arrest.

The other parents immediately mobilized to help the unconscious woman. They were led by a quartet including two doctors, a registered nurse and her husband. By administering CPR and using an automated external defibrillator in the building, they were able to save the woman. By the time a Greenwich Emergency Medical Service crew arrived, she had regained consciousness.

Anthony Perna, Dr. Setul Pardanani, Dr. Leora Horwitz, and Caitriona Perna the Saviours

Anthony Perna, Dr. Setul Pardanani, Dr. Leora Horwitz, and Caitriona Perna the Saviours

After treatment and testing at Greenwich Hospital, the woman was discharged and returned with her family to their home in the town’s Glenville section.

While the woman’s name has not been disclosed by school district officials, her rescuers are not anonymous. In a ceremony Friday at the district’s Greenwich Avenue headquarters, district and municipal officials recognized those four Glenville School parents: Dr. Leora Horwitz, Dr. Setul Pardanani, registered nurse Caitriona Perna and her husband, Anthony Perna.

“We saw it happen, and then we responded,” said Pardanani, an obstetrician at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, N.Y. “It was just teamwork.”

The four described a calm response to the woman’s collapse, with the AED quickly deployed to revive her.

“I called for the AED, somebody said they were getting it, they brought it, I grabbed it, I ran to Caitriona, and she put it on,” said Anthony Perna. “It zapped once, then we did chest compressions and she came back. She was losing color, and, all of a sudden, she had color again, which was great. She was confused and uncomfortable, but I told her she would be alright.”

Caitriona Perna, who works at Greenwich Hospital, offered a similar account and praised her husband, a banker, for maintaining his poise.

“He was so calm, and he kept talking to her,” she said. “It was just great.”

While the quartet modestly recounted their actions, others at the ceremony were keen to laud them.

“This story is particularly special because it was citizens who were at an event, unanticipated, who were called into the most important act of duty, and that was saving the life of one of their fellow parents,” said First Selectman Peter Tesei.

The episode also showed the strengths of the town’s first responders, Tesei said. He praised GEMS for providing “the utmost high-quality emergency-medical response that you can find anywhere in the United States.”

In addition to the parents’ efforts, Superintendent of Schools William McKersie highlighted the response of administrators at the workshop, including Deputy Superintendent Ellen Flanagan and Glenville School Principal Marc D’Amico, who both attended Friday’s ceremony.

“There was crowd control, crowd management and crowd care,” McKersie said. “We didn’t practice for this, but we can prepare for this. We were prepared to say `How do we help the rest of the room go to the right place, both literally and figuratively.’ What could’ve been a very emotional time was handled, as I understand, very well.”

As a result of an initiative started in the late 1990s, about 40 public buildings in Greenwich are equipped with AEDs, including at least one at every public school.

Use of AEDs by individuals who are not first responders is uncommon. But the parents’ facility with the device was crucial in helping to save the woman’s life, noted Charlee Tufts, GEMS’ executive director.

“The faster you can utilize CPR and an AED, the better the chance that a person has,” Tufts said. “We get there generally in five minutes or less, but every minute counts.”

While the Glenville mother benefited from the aid of three medical professionals, they emphasized that using an AED does not require expertise.

“It analyzes the heart rhythm, and if it’s the kind of heart rhythm that you can put an electric shock to, then it will tell you, and then it goes ahead and does it for you,” said Horwitz, a primary-care physician at Yale-New Haven Hospital. “And if it’s not that kind, it will say `continue the CPR.’ Anybody can use it.”

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Doctor Saves Elderly at YMCA

Posted by cocreator on January 31, 2014
Events / No Comments

It’s not often a doctor who specializes in skin diseases is called upon to rescue someone with a stalled heart.

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But when a man collapsed at the Stephens Family YMCA late Sunday afternoon, Christie Clinic dermatologist Dr. Jeremy Youse swung into action for all his one year of advanced cardiac life support training was worth.

“My year of training that I thought I would never use came in pretty handy,” he said Tuesday.

Jeremy Youse the Saviour

Jeremy Youse the Saviour

Youse said he was at the YMCA exercising when he heard a commotion across the room and someone called out, “we need a doctor.”

“It felt very much like a primetime drama,” he said.

Youse said he went right into doctor mode, and found a man who appeared to be about 75 or 80 years old who looked like he’d passed out or fallen. His heart wasn’t beating, he wasn’t responsive, and when Youse checked his pulse, he found, “he was pulse-less.”

The man who collapsed was identified by YMCA CEO Mark Johnson as Dave Sutton, a YMCA member.

Sutton was in critical condition at Carle Foundation Hospital Tuesday.

Youse said he started doing chest compressions on Sutton, then CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and then used the YMCA’s automatic external defibrillator, a portable device used to diagnose life threatening heart arrhythmias and administer an electrical shock to the heart, if necessary.

Three other health care providers were also at the YMCA exercising and soon all four were hovered around Sutton, Youse said.

One of them, Laurie Lee, a physician assistant with Kirby Medical Group in Atwood, said the patient appeared to have fallen from a treadmill and most likely a deficiency of oxygen to the heart sent him down.

She called for the defibrillator device, “and we got it on him in seconds,” she said.

“After we shocked the guy, he woke up,” Youse said.

Sutton was down for less than four minutes, but before he left on the ambulance, he was talking, Youse said.

“He seemed a little sore, a little bit groggy, but he was coherent,” Youse said.

Johnson said the YMCA has had four AED machines, “fortunately one near the treadmills,” since it opened, and the staff is trained how to use them.

He wasn’t there when Sutton collapsed, Johnson said, but he is so proud of how everyone swung into action and worked together to help rescue him.

“We kind of pride ourselves here on being a community,” he said.

Youse said what he hopes others might take away from this is how important a little CPR training is for everyone.

Youse took his advanced cardiac life support training back during his internship at Mayo Clinic. But he learned those automatic external defibrillator machines in public places are so simple to use, about anybody could follow the instructions to help save a life.

“It’s completely autopilot,” Youse said. “They are idiot-proof.”

But he urges everyone to spend at least 10 or 15 minutes understanding the basics of CPR.

“Even if there are not doctors there, if people have a little bit of CPR training, if there are those AED machines there, they could do the same thing,” he said.

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Coach & Doctor Save Teen during Basketball Game

Posted by cocreator on January 30, 2014
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John Roberge knows he was close to losing his son.

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“Friday night we weren’t sure what to expect because he was non-responsive to any commands,” said Roberge. “To think you’re never going to see your son again, it’s the worst feeling ever.”

His son Chris, a sophomore at Lebanon High School in New Hampshire, had just sat on the bench during the second quarter of a basketball game at Hopkinton, N.H.

“He just got done playing, scored four points, was probably excited, sat down, and he passed out on a friend,” said Roberge.

Coaches and parents didn’t skip a beat. Chris was having a heart attack.

Dan Meserve, the athletic director at Hopkinton High, did CPR while a parent who happens to be a surgeon grabbed the emergency defibrillator in the hallway.

“We actually had to shock him twice,” said Meserve.

It was a team effort that would save the 15-year-old’s life.

“Somebody was doing rescue breaths, somebody was on the phone with 911, somebody was cutting his shirt off,” said Meserve.

Chris is now doing well.

He’ll have a defibrillator placed in his chest on Wednesday. He could be back to school next week.

He should be able to resume a normal teenage life, but no contact sports.

“They saved my son,” said his father. “He died and they brought him back to life.

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Doctor & Restaurant Staff Save Mother of Two in Vehicle

Posted by cocreator on December 31, 2013
Events / No Comments

A mother-of-two whose heart stopped as she was driving through a busy city centre was saved when a passer-by stepped in to give her CPR.

Joanne Durkin the Survivor

Joanne Durkin the Survivor

Joanne Durkin, 43, was driving through York City Centre when her heart stopped and she collapsed behind the wheel.

Staff from a nearby Turkish restaurant called Kapadokya saw the car roll to a stop and ran to the mother’s aid.

They then smashed a car window and pulled Mrs Durkin free from the vehicle.

A woman, believed to be from Liverpool who was Christmas shopping in the city, identified herself as a GP. She then performed heart massage until paramedics arrived.

Mrs Durkin said: ‘You really couldn’t make up what happened. It’s amazing that so many different factors came together that day to save my life.

‘I still feel tired, but I’m so thankful that everything is going to be okay. My guardian angel really must have been looking after me that day.’

Mrs Durkin has no recollection of the incident but she, husband Patrick, and sons Matthew, 18, and Daniel, 11, have thanked the heroic members of the public and the emergency services.

The mother was later diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome – an electrical disturbance to the heart and can cause death.

Mrs Durkin has been fitted with an implant with a built-in defibrillator which will restart her heart should this ever happen again, and she is on medication to help control her heart rate.

Mr Durkin, 51, said: ‘She was given a blast with the defibrillator and brought back round.

‘Her heart stopped again in the ambulance but they started her up again and got her to A&E. She was just so lucky that someone was there at the time to help her.

‘The car came to a stop with no damage. It’s miraculous really because obviously she just blacked out. She’s been unlucky, but there’s been so much luck involved it’s unbelievable.’

‘[Long QT Syndrome] can be classed as instant death syndrome which is quite a scary thing to think about.

‘Ten minutes later she would have been in the middle of nowhere on a much quieter road and it would have been a much different story.

‘She had just minutes to survive. It was just unbelieveable. She ran the marathon in October, she runs all over the place, she’s as fit as a fiddle.

‘I would have thought there would be more chance of Stonehenge falling over than Joanne falling over.’

Erdal Ozturkce, manager of Kapadokya, was one of the people who helped Joanne at the scene, and was amazed to find out she was well and at home for Christmas.

He said: ‘Her face changed colour when her heart stopped and we thought she was dead. I’m really very happy she’s okay, it’s really good to hear.

‘I’m really happy she’s alive, because we were really very upset. I didn’t know her at all, but she’s human and young, and it would be very sad for someone to die at Christmas time.’

The mother is now launching an appeal to thank the GP who helped to save her life when her heart stopped while she was behind the wheel.

Speaking from their family home today, Mr Durkin said: ‘We just want to say thank you to them. I just want to share our gratitude which is endless, because they saved Joanne’s life.

‘You can’t do anything better than that for a fellow human being.’

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