Thanks to quick thinking by a visitor and actions by Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center staff, a Veteran and his family will celebrate at least one more holiday season together.
On Friday, Nov. 17, Cathy Tullis came to Dole VA to pick up a family member who had been in the hospital. As she pulled up, she noticed a person lying face down near the parking lot. She jumped out of her car to check on the man. Finding him unresponsive, she immediately ran inside the building and notified a staff member.
Kristine Davis, Transportation Assistant, was that employee. Davis asked her co-worker to call the VA Police Department and then immediately went outside with Tullis to assess the situation.
“When we got to the gentleman, he was still lying face down,” said Davis. “A couple nurses from our Quality Management department happened to see us and came to help.”
The unresponsive man was turned onto his back and a quick assessment was performed, revealing the man wasn’t breathing and had no pulse. They immediately started CPR using chest compressions and continued until the hospital’s rapid response team arrived. A short time later, the man responded with a pulse and began breathing again.
Sedgwick County EMS and the Wichita Fire Department responded and helped move the patient to the Dole VA Emergency Room, where he was further stabilized before being transferred to another facility. ER staff noted the patient was awake and talking prior to transfer, a good sign after having gone through cardiac arrest.
Tullis was impressed with how calm and professional the staff were that day. “I know I saw a life saved that day,” said Tullis. “The staff were so calm, cool, and collected – it was very impressive.”
“We are very proud of the heroic actions taken by our staff last week,” said Medical Center Director Michael Payne. “We get high marks and ratings for the care we provide to our Veterans, but nothing says ‘we care’ like rushing into the parking lot to save a person’s life.”