Colleagues Save Co-Worker in Kitchen

Posted by cocreator on June 14, 2014
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A Contra Costa County Juvenile Hall cook who fell unconscious during a heart attack in the facility’s kitchen credits the two Contra Costa Health services nurses on duty with saving his life.

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Nurses Liz Maaske and Mary Vesey revived their coworker, Edward Taraskewich, using CPR and an automated external defibrillator shortly after he suffered a cardiac arrest on the morning of Jan. 6. When the nurses found Taraskewich, he had no pulse and was not breathing, according to Will Harper, spokesman for Contra Costa Health Services.

In recognition of their efforts, the county’s Emergency Medical Services Division awarded the two women, along with emergency responders, a “Certificate of Heroism” in a ceremony attended by Taraskewich on March 12.

Maaske and Vesey, who have a combined 35 years of experience as nurses at at the John A. Davis Juvenile Hall were trained to administer CPR and use a defibrillator, but this was the first time they had had to use them on the job, according to Harper.

The nurses were able to revive Taraskewich before paramedics arrived, according to Harper.

Taraskewich had worked with Maaske and Vesey for 14 years and celebrated his 63rd birthday earlier this month as a result of the women’s swift, life-saving actions.

“I would never have seen this day without Liz and Mary,” Taraskewich said. “They saved my life.”

Taraskewich said he plans to return to his job as lead cook next week.

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Staff Save Teenager at Juvenile Detention Center

Posted by cocreator on December 09, 2013
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A serious medical emergency threatens a teenager while he’s locked up at the Winnebago County Juvenile Detention Center. That was probably one of the safest places he could have been. Well-trained staff members saved his life.

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Back in August, the 16-year-old boy had just finished playing a game of basketball when he collapsed.

U of I nurse Mark Krause wasn’t supposed to be on duty for another hour, but came into work early that day on a whim. He calls it divine intervention.

“And I was just getting ready to pass medications and the staff has frantically waved me over, so I knew something big was up,” says Krause.

At first they thought the teen might have been having a seizure, but when his breathing nearly stopped, they realized they were dealing with something much worse, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

‘It’s an enlargement of the left ventricle, so basically a thickening of the heart wall,” says Krause.

One in 500 people have the heart condition, but most never experience any symptoms. But once in a great while it can cause sudden cardiac death, a heart attack. That’s what would have happened to the young man, had it not been for the fast acting staff members.

“We receive a lot of training here, we definitely go through CPR training, there’s a lot of scenarios that occur here just on a daily basis that are not normal. but having a medical problem like this was definItely not expected,” says Philip Graceffa, one of the Detention Officers that worked to save the teen.

They called 911 and began CPR. Another officer ran to get an Automated External Defibrillator, or an AED.

“To hear this machine say ‘Shock advised.’ I could not believe that this has happening. Here’s this young man at the beginning of his life and for the thing to go off, leaping off the ground, was quite an event,” says Kraus.

Melinda Craigs-Ingram, another Detention Officer, delivered that lifesaving shock to the boy’s body.

“You’re running off of pure adrenaline. My initial impression was just to save him, just to get him to breathe.” she says.

When first responders arrived, they shocked the boy a second time before taking him to the hospital, where he spent the next few weeks in an induced coma.

The four employees who saved the teen are being hailed as heroes. Winnebago County presented each with a heroism award last week. They say they’re humbled.

“The award doesn’t mean much compared to knowing that child lived,” says Detention Officer Sean Koenig.

Although we were not able to meet the young man they saved, the detention officers say they have stayed in touch. They say he made a full recovery, and had a pacemaker implanted into his chest.

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Colleagues Save Cop in Jail

Posted by cocreator on June 06, 2009
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We will be reporting on lives saved around the world since our first documented life saved here in Singapore.

James Dombrowski (in tie) the Survivor with Colleagues

James Dombrowski (in tie) the Survivor with Colleagues

On the morning of April 17, James Dombrowski, a captain in the Sheriff’s Department, started feeling faint when he was still about a mile from the jail. He contemplated pulling over to the side of the road, but kept driving — a decision that may have saved his life.

He was pale and sweating when he got to the jail lobby. People rushed to summon help even before he collapsed.

Elaine Benavides of Salem, N.H., rushed over from the infirmary, laid eyes on Dombrowski and called for an ambulance. A few minutes later, Dombrowski collapsed into her lap.

Benavides started CPR and chest compressions. Nick D’Orazio of Byfield took over. Smith, of Peabody, rushed the defibrillator from behind several heavy jail doors. Also helping were Credit, of Bradford, Capt. Paul Hardy of Salem, and computer worker David Marescalchi of Beverly.

Benavides said everyone worked quickly and almost automatically, relying on their training.

“We were hoping it wasn’t what it was,” Credit said. But reality set in when they hooked a defibrillator up to James Dombrowski of Salem.

The machine announced in a robotic voice, “Shock advised.”

Dombrowski was taken by ambulance to Salem Hospital and, within a few hours, was recovering.

John O’Connor, who leads first-responder and CPR training for the jail, said things were so close that Dombrowski wouldn’t have survived if he’d collapsed in the parking lot, a little farther from the defibrillator.

“It was, like, a perfect place for it to happen — if there is a perfect place to have a heart attack,” he said.

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