Nurse Saves Teen on School Bus

Posted by cocreator on February 07, 2014
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When Nurse Bernadette Bagni was summoned to a departing bus at Benjamin A. Friedman Middle School to assist a student who became unconscious, she didn’t anticipate the severity of the need for help. Immediately upon seeing 12-year old Brooke Conlon slumped in her seat, she recognized the signs of sudden cardiac arrest. As a certified CPR instructor, Bagni knew to immediately call 911, ask for an AED, and start chest compressions.

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Nurse Bagni arrived at the bus to find that Principal Chris Baratta and Assistant Principal Chris Oliver had already moved all of the students, enabling her to quickly attend to Brooke. After Baratta and Oliver moved Brooke to the bus aisle, Nurse Bagni began performing chest compressions and breathing, which she continued until the AED arrived.

After turning on the AED, Nurse Bagni followed its simple instructions to apply the pads, and wait while it analyzed Brooke’s heart rhythm. When the AED instructed Bagni to administer a shock, she made sure no one was touching the patient, and then pressed the shock button. Thereafter she followed the prompts to continue chest compressions, while a second school nurse, Nancy Vincent, provided artificial respiration.

“CPR buys you time until an AED and EMS (Emergency Medical Services) arrive,” says Nurse Bagni, who is now Nurse Manager for the Taunton School District. “If you simply follow the prompts on the AED, you can’t go wrong.”

Paramedics arrived within 10 minutes of the call. While she did have a steady heart rhythm, Brooke was not breathing on her own when she was transported to the hospital.

Brooke has since returned to school and has recently celebrated her 13th birthday.

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Doctors, Nurse and Bystanders Save Woman at School Meeting

Posted by cocreator on February 05, 2014
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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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Nurse & Allied Healthworker Save Man in Fitness Gym

Posted by cocreator on January 23, 2014
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No matter how complicated your relationship with fitness is, it’s probably not as complicated as Justin Gress’.

Justin Gress the Survivor, Joy Loiseau & Jill Weisenberger the Saviours

Justin Gress the Survivor, Joy Loiseau & Jill Weisenberger the Saviours

The 34-year-old West Fargo man was nearly killed by exercise when, during an hour-long run on a treadmill, he was struck by a sudden heart attack that left him in a coma two Sundays ago, Jan. 12.

However, it was also that training regimen that may have helped save his life.

“If it was going to happen then, it was going to happen eventually,” Gress said.

Jill Weisenberger, who was at Snap Fitness in West Fargo working out at the time, said her husband, who was on the treadmill next to Gress, saw Gress step up his running pace just before he collapsed. At that point, Gress had been on the treadmill for nearly an hour.

“Anyone who can run on the treadmill for an hour has got to be in pretty good shape,” Weisenberger said. “Very much a fluke-type thing.”

Joy Loiseau was on the treadmill on the other side. She was feeling exhausted after a long day working at the hospital, and seeing her own red, sweaty face, glanced at Gress.

“I looked over for some dumb reason,” she said, “and saw he wasn’t sweating much.”

She turned away – and Gress went down.

What Weisenberger and Loiseau didn’t know, and what Gress is thankful to be around to describe today, is his history of drinking and smoking and his spotty relationship with exercise.

Gress said he first started running back in 2010, to do a 10K, but had fallen off his training routine afterward.

Weisenberger didn’t know this, but she did know heart attacks. She had worked with heart patients 25 years before in her long career as a nurse.

“If someone that’s in their 30s goes down,” Weisenberger said, “You’re thinking they’re not going to come out of it.”

Loiseau and Weisenberger at first thought it was a stroke. Then they realized Gress had no pulse and they began chest compressions, taking turns for more than 10 agonizing minutes to keep him alive while the ambulance was on its way.

Luckily, Loiseau, a speech pathologist, had taken CPR training before.

Meanwhile, another gym member stayed on the phone with the hospital, while a fourth went through Gress’ belongings, trying to see what medical conditions he might have.

“What happened to me – they call it a widow maker – the chances of making it are so slim,” said Gress, who doesn’t remember anything of the day. “I was clinically dead for 10 minutes.”

Erin Gress, Justin’s twin sister, said her brother’s doctors told her one of his arteries was 80 percent blocked. The run could have caused a piece of the blockage to break off, they said, but the running had also strengthened his heart, which helped him survive.

“He’s very healthy; he runs every day,” she said. “And it just wasn’t good enough.”

She said she’s already changed her diet and plans to quit smoking after seeing her brother dodge a bullet.

When her brother woke up, her mother had not left his side once, she said. When doctors brought him out of the medically induced coma, the first person he asked to see was his infant daughter, Ava, who was born Dec. 20.

Gress has been home since Jan. 17 – a mere five days after his heart attack.

He’s planning to start rehab soon, and he’s already talking about hitting the treadmill again, though he doubts he’ll be cleared by doctors to run in this year’s marathon as he’d hoped.

“I almost didn’t get to be a father to my little girl,” he said. “Every day, it’s another level of thankfulness you’re around.”

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Nurse & Teachers Save 7 Year Old in School

Posted by cocreator on January 14, 2014
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By all accounts, Jackson Bartke seemed to be a normal, healthy, 7-year-old second-grader. But his heart stopped during gym class on Nov. 19. He collapsed.

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This had never happened to him before. Suddenly, he was unresponsive.

Teachers and staff at Haines Elementary School in New Lenox sprang into action. Ellen Cooke, the physical education teacher, called the nurse, Christine Goeppner, who grabbed a defibrillator and headed to the gym. They were able to restart Jackson’s heart.

Jackson Bartke the Survivor

Jackson Bartke the Survivor

They and others who either called 911, administered CPR or kept the other kids calm were credited for their actions during the lifesaving incident. Jackson’s parents, Rick and Janel Bartke, recognized these “Haines heroes” at the New Lenox School District 122 Board meeting earlier this month.

“It’s amazing to us to still have (Jackson) around,” Rick Bartke said. “Without those people, and that device, and the timing, he wouldn’t be here.”

As Rick Bartke recounted his son’s story, his voice grew weaker, as he apparently grew emotional. The day-to-day activities pass normally, he said. But when he and Janel think about how close they came to losing their son, the tears still come.

“We do plan for the worst but we pray for the best,” Goeppner said, catching her breath, tears in her eyes.

The others recognized were Sharon Tyssen, Aurelia Koncius, Clair Rady, Donnah Simmons, Lisa Annoline and Julie Palucki.

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Nurse Saves Child in Elementary School

Posted by cocreator on January 08, 2014
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A quick thinking and properly trained school nurse saved a child’s life at Highlands Elementary in Concord on Monday morning.

At about 10am, a young student passed out and was not breathing, according to ConFire Dispatchers. The school’s nurse performed CPR on the student, who then started breathing again by the time paramedics and firefighters arrived on scene, ConFire said.

“Training made a difference in the lives of our students today and we are grateful she was there”, Mt. Diablo Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer said.

Although it hasn’t been confirmed, we’re hearing the child was talking when he/she was brought to the hospital by the ambulance.

The life-saving nurse says she was just doing her job, and asked that we keep her name private, so we’ll honor her request.

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