A Medical Emergency

Categories: Blog

We were going to write a blog relating to the Jubilee to mark this momentous occasion. However, you have, I am sure – been keeping up with this special occasion on your TV, Radio, Newspapers and almost every place you may have visited along with seeing some fantastic displays that have been put on. We can catch up on all this next month, so that we can also include our own celebrations here at Goatacre Manor Care Centre, to mark the wonderful Platinum Jubilee Anniversary of our Queen.

I would like to share with you a momentous occasion for me. Not a lovely memory to hold on to – (Although if there is a good outcome it most certainly will be). Certainly, it is one which will stick with me for my lifetime I am sure.

I attended a medical emergency just down the lane from where our Care Centre is located.

*Just a trigger warning: Please do not read on if this will cause any upset to you as some of you may have experienced a similar situation which you may find upsetting. I do not want to cause upset but simply take my experience of what happened, as an opportunity to raise awareness*

A group of gentlemen were visiting from Wales to watch the Cricket. Whilst walking along the lane, one gentleman collapsed to the floor and stopped breathing. A friend of their party had run into our building shouting for help. I am first aid trained so naturally (first aid trained or not I want to help and see what assistance I can offer).

I have never to this day had to put my first aid training to use, (apart from for minor injuries), so, I ran down that lane. Anybody who knows me well, will know I am not the fittest of people, (fast running is something I haven’t done since I was in my teens). But run I did. On arrival the poor gentleman was not breathing, and a member of their party was preparing the de-fibrillator. Emergency services had been called & were on loudspeaker on the phone offering their assistance. This was serious. I said to the gentleman I was first aid trained and asked how I can help. I assisted with placing the AED (automated external defibrillator – which is a device that checks a person’s heart and delivers an electric shock if it has stopped beating normally). In between the AED delivering shocks and myself and another gentleman taking in turns to give CPR we worked as a team as CPR can be tiring when done alone. Although at the time, I suppose adrenaline kicks in and I did not feel tired at all. The Wiltshire Air Ambulance, first responders, 2 Ambulances and the Police all seemed to arrive around the same time. I would say around 8 minutes. They asked if I was ok to continue – which I absolutely did whilst they got their medical equipment ready and after a couple more minutes, the professionals took over.

We are yet to hear the outcome of this gentleman as he is in an induced coma. I hope he has a good outcome. I know I did my best but will still be sad if the worse happens. Call this fate perhaps, but I wasn’t due to work this week with it being the school holidays and only attended my first aid at workplace course with Goatacre less than 3 weeks ago. I am also very thankful to Goatacre for putting me on this course, not realising my skills learnt would be put to the test so soon.

Back to raising awareness:
• Please find out where your nearest AED is kept. You can search these online, you most likely walk past one in the street every day. If a medical emergency occurs, the emergency call dispatcher will also let you know where your nearest AED is located. Knowing the persons medical history will help the emergency services in treating the patient. (This is not always possible if a member of the public).
• Please research how to do CPR – CPR really can be the difference between life and death and that doing something is always better than doing nothing.
• If you do CPR on a person whose heart has stopped beating, there is a 40% chance the person will live if a defibrillator can arrive within 10 minutes to shock the heart. The idea of CPR is not to start the heart beating again, but to get oxygen into a person’s lungs to prevent brain damage. To restart the heart would usually require an electric shock.

Therefore it’s essential not to give up on CPR before medical help arrives.

Blog – By Charlie (Receptionist/Administrator with the Goatacre Family).