Heart attack patient has positive outcome
Cindy Yingling, R.N., left, and Catherine Morgan, R.N., right, of Cardiac Rehabilitation both attended the METIMan (a patient simulator) training that they said proved to be invaluable three weeks later when they had to assist a patient having a heart attack.
The middle-aged man completed a five and a half minute session on the treadmill and sat down on the exam table in Cardiac Stress Testing at Apple Hill Medical Center.
His blood pressure and heart rate were elevated, but he didn’t complain of any chest pains. Suddenly, he dropped his nitro pill and collapsed unconscious. The color left his face and the EKG monitor indicated he was in ventricular fibrillation. He was experiencing a heart attack.
“He was in a lot of danger,” said Tammy Sterner, director of non-invasive cardiology, as she recalled the incident. “He was facing imminent death.”
Cardiologist Paul Tolerico started chest compressions and CPR, while Cindy Yingling, a nurse from Cardiac Rehabilitation, began managing the patient’s airway. Cardiac Rehabilitation nurses Catherine Morgan and Sue Zimmerman also assisted with the patient.
Simultaneously, Rachael McKnight, EKG tech, placed the patient on a cardiac monitor with a defibrillator. It was discovered that the patient was in ventricular fibrillation.
Nuclear Medicine signaled a code was occurring, 911 was called and the crash cart, which houses drugs and equipment typically needed to treat patients with abnormal heart rhythms and/or in cardiac arrest, was wheeled to the patient.
Cardiologist Greg Fazio, who responded to the code call from his Apple Hill office, administered several shocks from the defibrillator to the patient.
Following the shock, the patient’s heart rhythm returned and he was transported to York Hospital, where he underwent cardiac catheterization and subsequent coronary artery bypass graft surgery within hours.
“The positive outcome can be attributed to hands-on training with METIMan (a patient simulator) and superb teamwork,” said Sterner “Even though this is an extremely rare occurrence, the staff’s prompt response and expertise saved the patient’s life by providing the appropriate responses, including CPR and defibrillation, until the EMS team arrived.”
Just three weeks earlier, staff members of Cardiac Rehabilitation, Nuclear Medicine, EKG, Pulmonary Rehab, Echocardiography and Cardiology participated in a hands-on training session with METIMan.
METIMan can simulate symptoms of having a heart attack—increased heart rate and difficulty breathing. He can even complain of chest pain and lightheadedness.
Other features of the patient simulator include blinking eyes, reactive pupils, tongue swelling, realistic chest compressions and ventilation. “The training simulation with METIMan was simply invaluable,” said Sterner. “It had a big impact on the outcome.”
Catherine Morgan added, “The training was very helpful because we don’t experience many events like this. It was a timely reminder in a non-threatening atmosphere.”
Marcia Shindler, a nurse in Cardiac Rehabilitation, arranged for the training session after reading an article in Around WellSpan about METIMan and the availability of off-site training sessions. The training session featured three emergency scenarios.
Dr. John Bobin served as facilitator and critiqued the staff’s performance. “It was a valuable learning experience,” said Shindler.
“Duane (Patterson) from the Medical Simulation Center was easy to work with. We had great attendance and staff members took it seriously.”
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