Heartfelt thanks to life-saving team
[English Text only]
BY VICTOR VIOLANTE 31 Dec, 2009 08:03 AM
It is not a patient drop-off point, but in Dean Arnold's case presenting at the Gungahlin police and emergency services headquarters when suffering a severe heart attack just might have saved his life. At 41, and apparently fit and healthy, the Nicholls man had no reason to suspect that when his chest felt tight and his left arm started hurting on Sunday morning that he was experiencing the most severe forms of heart attacks - an ST segment myocardial infarction (STEMI), when a coronary artery is completely blocked.
Thanks to the quick thinking of his partner Priscilla Coyle, the cool heads of a police officer, paramedics, nurses and doctors, and new technology that only recently came online at the Canberra Hospital, Mr Arnold lived to tell the tale of his close call.
Recovering at the Canberra Hospital, Mr Arnold was reunited yesterday with his saviours who rushed to his aid and worked quickly under pressure when he turned up on Sunday at the Gungahlin Joint Emergency Services Centre, ordinarily not a patient drop-off point.
Ms Coyle said she had driven him to the emergency services headquarters in desperation because she could not remember the way to Calvary Hospital and a nearby medical centre was closed.
At the headquarters she sought the help of Constable Brent Gall, who tended to Mr Arnold and summoned two paramedics on duty there, Martin Raab and Rebecca Snape.
Mr Raab said he and Ms Snape were able to perform an electrocardiogram and email the results to Canberra Hospital specialists via mobile phone.
This allowed a cardiologist at the hospital to advise the paramedics to head straight to Canberra Hospital, rather than Calvary Hospital, and for doctors there to prepare for Mr Arnold's arrival.
Once in hospital, doctors performed surgery to clear the blockage and within an hour Mr Arnold's pain was gone.
Although in this case the decision to go to the ambulance headquarters turned out well, Mr Raab urged the public to always call 000 first in an emergency, as it was possible there would be no paramedics at the headquarters if they just turned up.
For more on this story, see today's Canberra Times.
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