Nurses save man’s life on their day off

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OFF-DUTY LIFE SAVERS

TWO NURSES from the Hospital of Vinalopó, Luis Berenguer and Anna Vicente, who were having a day off and just about to enjoy their evening meal ended up saving the life of a 67-year-old man. The incident happened at around 10.15pm on Saturday night in the popular L’Aljub centre in Elche when the man suffered a heart attack.

Not only was the victim lucky that there were two members of the medical profession in close attendance but the fact that the commercial centre had a defibrillator available for them to use.

“We were climbing the escalators and we then saw a man lying on his side surrounding by a group of people. We immediately put him on his back, saw that he wasn’t breathing, and so we started the heart massage”, said Luis, who highlighted the fact that the portable defibrillator was found straight away to help their cause.

L’Aljub is believed to be the first commercial centre in the Valencian Community to install this type of device and, according to sources at the busy shopping mall, it was installed in the summer of 2007 and this has been the first time it has been used.

After an evaluation of the level of the patient’s consciousness and breathing, which showed no response, cardiopulmonary resuscitation was started, with a sequence of 30 compressions and two ventilations to support the circulation of the heart.

Following just a single charge and several minutes of heart massage undertaken by the nurses, the patient finally managed to regain consciousness and, after being stabilized, was transferred to the hospital by the SAMU ambulance services.

The nurse explained: “The man was lucky that we were there, because after a cardiac arrest time counts: every minute after that happens the chance of it being restarted is reduced by 10%.”

After the man was taken to hospital, who is expected to make a full recovery, nurses Luis and Anna were finally able to resume their dinner knowing they’d saved the life of one of their fellow shoppers.

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