Textbook example of resuscitation shows importance of learning CPR
Date: 15 June 2020
A perfect example of resuscitation that brought a 61-year old woman back to life after 40 minutes, shows the importance of learning CPR, a senior paramedic for East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust has said.
On 5th May 2020, 61-year-old Joy Green suffered a cardiac arrest.
What happened next is a perfect example where the chain of survival was carried out in quick succession. It is with permission of Joy and her husband David that we share their story.
The previous night Joy had gone to bed to try and sleep off the chest pain she had been experiencing all evening.
At 03:44 her husband Dave woke to find Joy collapsed by the side of their bed and immediately dialled 999. The call was picked up within one second by call handler Damian Pelham who was being mentored by Laura Macdonald.
Call handlers receive specific training enabling them to instruct people to perform CPR over the phone, which is the vital first link in the chain.
Just 29 seconds after the 999 call was picked up, the address had been confirmed and entered into the computer which enabled Hannah Vince to dispatch the nearest resource.
Dave performed CPR as instructed until the ambulance arrived, 4 minutes, 25 seconds after the 999 call started.
Diploma student Paramedic Jaynie Sheen and Student Paramedic Callum Marshall-Wyer arrived closely followed almost immediately by Leading Operations Manager Ray McAllister and a second ambulance crewed by Paramedics Anne-Marie Poole and Emma Simpson.
The Dispatch Team Leader in Norwich, Charlotte Pearce, notified the Critical Care Desk (CCD) of this incident. CCD dispatch and coordinate specialist resources across the region which include Air Ambulances, the Hazardous Area Response Teams and Critical Care Paramedics and Doctors who respond from home through the BASICS charity NARS.
Advanced Paramedic Carl Smith volunteers for NARS and was dispatched from home, arriving on scene within 6 minutes to find the crew performing ALS in Tyvex suits, face masks, gloves and eye protection.
Jaynie who is currently completing her Paramedic training through the University of East Anglia (UEA) was leading the arrest, having passed her Advanced Life Support training (which included Covid-19 scenarios) the previous week.
Joy received six shocks over 35 minutes, and then a team discussion took place as we needed to prepare Dave for what looked like bad news.
Carl Smith said: “I asked the team if anyone had any objections to terminating the resuscitation and Jaynie said she felt we should continue because the patient had received bystander CPR and a fast response from the crew. The team agreed to continue for five more minutes and if no change after that, we would discontinue the resuscitation.
At 40 minutes a pulse check was performed and to our surprise a pulse was detected as Joy’s heart began to beat again. We moved into the post resuscitation phase and completed a full assessment an ECG to determine which hospital to transfer to.”
It was decided that Joy should be taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Joy was discharged to her home on 26th May, three weeks after her cardiac arrest.
I visited Joy at her home this week and was delighted to see how well she was. Although she has some memory loss, Joy is grateful to be alive and they are extremely grateful for the care they received from both the ambulance service and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Carl Smith said: “We’ve asked to share Joy’s story because it shows the chain of survival at its best, with everyone working together, from the staff in control room, right through to the crew who delivered advanced life support and transported Joy to hospital.
“However, a vital factor in our continuing to give Joy Advanced Life Support for that critical extra five minutes was that Dave had performed CPR during those minutes when the ambulance was on its way. It gave her a better chance of survival.
“Members of the public are key in improving the chain of survival, and if you learn how to do CPR, you could give someone you love the same second chance at life that David gave Joy.”
You can find out more about how to learn CPR here.
On 5th May, 61-year-old Joy Green suffered a cardiac arrest.
What happened next is a perfect example of the importance of learning CPR.