The Catalyst

Excellence in Action: Nurses help save patient’s life

By Monica Fabunan
Public Relations

With keys in hand, ready to go home after a long day of work, two nurses clocked out and were walking out of the Institute of Psychiatry when the unexpected happened.

A patient, scheduled for an appointment at the IOP June 4, had a heart attack at the entrance. Stanisha Vick, R.N. II, and Damian Millet, R.N., charge nurse on 3 North, stepped up to help.
“I noticed this man holding the door. It looked like he was entering the building. But after I passed him, I turned around, and he sat down and collapsed,” said Vick.

Institute of Psychiatry nurses Stanisha Vick and Damian Millet worked together to save a patient.
Institute of Psychiatry nurses Stanisha Vick, pictured, and Damian Millet worked together to save a patient.

Vick rushed to the man and started evaluating his condition. The new patient was unresponsive and having seizures. At the same time, a therapeutic assistant rushed inside to grab Millet, who was heading out.

Millet and Vick worked together to try to stabilize the patient. Vick eventually noticed that the patient’s ears and mouth were turning blue. The patient wasn’t breathing.

“Stanisha initiated CPR, and I told people that were standing around that I needed a crash cart, an AED machine and for someone to call Meducare, and tell them to hurry because this man isn’t doing too well,” said Millet.

With MUSC’S medical transport system on the way, Millet used the automated external defibrillator to administer an electric shock through the chest and to the heart to obtain a normal rhythm. After one shock, Vick continued to perform CPR compressions.Millet and Vick also hooked up oxygen from the crash cart to help the patient.

Damian Millet, charge nurse on 3 North, stepped up to help a patient who was having a heart attack.
Damian Millet, charge nurse on 3 North, stepped up to help a patient who was having a heart attack.

After trading off compressions, Meducare arrived, hooked up their AED for another shock and started an IV while Millet still performed compressions. Shortly after, the patient’s heart rhythm returned to normal, and he began breathing on his own. Meducare then rushed him to the Chest Pain Center for further evaluation and care.

Later, clinical director Harriet Cooney, R.N., provided updates about the patient to Vick and Millet.

“I didn’t sleep well that night because I wondered if he lived, and Harriet Cooney called me the next day since I had to work, and she said he made it,” Vick said.

July 2, 2013
 
 
 

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