On Wednesday October 14, 2015 Joint Commission (JC) arrived at Ironwood Medical Center. The Emergency Department (ED) Clinical Managers were meeting and the arrival of JC required the meeting to be cancelled so the team could refocus their efforts on the survey. Susan Bowen, day CM, was asked if she would stay to review employee files. This was Susan’s day off yet she agreed to help the team prepare for the survey. Susan remained all day and around 1630, Susan said she was leaving to go home. Susan mentioned to us that tomorrow was her daughter’s birthday so she would not be available to help that day. Jessica and I thanked her for staying on her day off and we understood why tomorrow she would not be available.
Around 1700, Susan called our Senior Clinical Manager, on her cell phone to let her know that she had performed CPR on a neighbor and the neighbor was on her way to Ironwood ED via EMS. She asked Susan what happened. Susan said she was at a friend’s house and the neighbor knew she was a nurse and came over to ask if she had any orange juice for someone who has low blood sugar. The neighbor was having a large family gathering for an impending wedding. Being concerned, Susan chose to go with this person next door and evaluate what was happening.
Susan was led to an elderly woman sitting on a stool who did not look well; Susan could see she was diaphoretic. Susan immediately went into her professional role as an emergency department registered nurse. She took the woman’s pulse and determined it was rapid and thready. The woman then lost consciousness and started to have snoring respirations. Susan rechecked a pulse and there was no pulse!
The house was full of family members when Susan announced to the crowd, “She has no pulse, and I am starting CPR, call 911”. Susan then assisted the woman to the floor and began CPR. She completed two rounds of compressions and one round of rescue breathing when the woman regained consciousness! When EMS arrived, she gave report to the medic and then called the hospital to let them know what happened in the field since the woman was to be transported to Ironwood ED.
This person arrived awake and two of her family members came with her to the ED. I visited the family members while she was being seen by the provider. I introduced myself and asked if they were aware that the young lady who performed CPR was one of the Clinical Managers in this emergency department. They said yes they knew she worked here. I told them how proud we were of Susan and her ability to save their loved one’s life. With tears streaming down the cheeks of both of the family members, her daughter remarked, “Oh yes, if it wasn’t for Susan she wouldn’t be here now. She saved her life”.
11-5-2015 I followed up with the patient and her daughter to ask if they were willing to share their story and the outcome of these events. They both were happy to share their stories. I first spoke to the patient herself. She states she passed out and Susan came and did CPR which brought her back. “I am very grateful to her and have since thanked her in person, we had a celebration dinner.”
I also talked with the patient’s daughter who relayed, “I was taking a selfie with her and I looked at her and she was gone. You could see it, she was unconscious. I called 911 and someone went to the neighbor’s house to get orange juice in case it was low blood sugar. Susan came as calm as she could be. Told us we needed to lay her down and once we did Susan did not feel a pulse. She did CPR and then she opened her eyes. I am so grateful she was there. She also called the hospital and let them know we were coming; it was a seamless transition of care. As far as we are concerned, Susan saved her life. Outside of sore ribs because of the CPR, they told my mom she had a clean bill of health. Without a doubt this was a God moment for us. She just happened to stop by at our neighbors house that day, she doesn’t live next door. We had a post wedding party last night and invited Susan so everyone could meet her. My mom and I got to thank her for saving her life.
In conclusion, this woman recovered fully without any residual deficits or heart damage. Susan’s quick actions and effective CPR saved this woman’s life!