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This Australian Nurse Treated Himself from an Impending Heart Attack!

When our health and well-being gets compromised, the first thing we do is to go the hospital. We seek the expertise of medical professionals to address our health problems and hope that they can cure them. But if a doctor or nurse’s life is in danger, where are they supposed to look for help? It turns out these medical professionals can only depend on themselves! This was exactly what an Australian nurse had to experience when he treated himself from an impending heart attack!   

An Act of Bravery

Last Wednesday, a 44-year old nurse got assigned to an isolated town of Coral Bay, which was more than 600 miles from its nearest major city Perth. He was the only one working at the clinic when he experienced dizziness and chest pain. It was then that he realized he was experiencing two major signs of a heart attack.

Seeing as no one else was there to help him, he hooked himself with an electrocardiogram (ECG). He emailed the ECG results to one of the ER physicians in Western Australia through the Emergency Telehealth Service. One of the medical staff named Felicity Lee assessed the ECG result and stated that the ECG showed signs of a complete heart block. The attending physician gave him instructions for first-aid treatment via real-time video conferencing.

Dr. Felicity Lee assisted the nurse on emergency treatment through Telemedicine

Fortunately, the nurse still had his presence of mind despite the situation he was in. He quickly worked on saving his life by installing intravenous (IV) lines on both arms. He also self-administered drugs such as aspirin, blood thinners, a clot-buster drug named tenecteplase, and painkillers which were all needed to survive a heart attack. Aside from that, he also attached his own defibrillator pads and prepared the adrenaline, amiodarone, and atropine drugs to treat his irregular heart rhythms.

A Near-Death Experience

After a few minutes, the vessel blockage finally cleared and the nurse’s symptoms subsided. His emergency first-aid treatment bought him some time until the help arrived. They airlifted him to a cardiology facility in Perth.

After finally receiving a proper medical treatment like stent and drugs to monitor his heart condition, his heart rate started to get back to normal. He got discharged from the hospital two days later. Lee and his colleagues also gave him proper heart medications to prevent the attack from happening again.

DIY Emergency Heart Treatment Not Recommended

Doctors strongly discourage patients from watching Youtube videos on DIY treatment

The cardiologists, doctors, and medical professionals lauded the nurse for saving his life. They had no doubt the nurse had a great work experience in emergency health care to be able to do all those things. It showed his confidence not only in saving his patient’s life but most importantly, his own. While the act was commendable, the medical experts wouldn’t recommend it as an appropriate medical intervention for heart attack.

Dr. Cindy Grines, a cardiologist in New York, warned the patients not to imitate what the nurse did. The Australian nurse was a highly-trained medical professional who knew exactly what he was doing. People  should realize that heart disease requires immediate medical attention because it’s still the world’s leading cause of death.

If they ever experience the following symptoms of pressure or a burning sensation around their chest, neck, arms, or upper abdomen, excess sweating, difficulty in breathing, dizziness, then they should call 911 and seek medical attention immediately. It’s a great thing though that the United States have medical facilities which are only an ambulance ride away. So the patients can get the immediate help they need in times of emergency.

Dr. Satjit Bhusri, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital, stated that the nurse only applied his knowledge and used the available resources to give himself a first-aid treatment. He said that it was imperative to get all the help he needed at that crucial time.

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