Paramedic's uphill struggle to save man experiencing heart attack

Monday, 11 January, 2010

When South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust Paramedic Adey Varley responded to a 999 call concerning a 65 year old male who had collapsed in the street suffering a suspected heart attack, he knew he had to act quickly and that getting to the patient was going to be tough.

Recent heavy snow had compacted on the roads in High Wycombe, the patient was
some way up a hill in Downley and Adey was in a normal ambulance. He requested
back up and a 4x4 private ambulance car was despatched to help. The 4x4 arrived
quickly, but neither it, nor the standard ambulance could make it up the hill.

Adey spoke to the patient by phone, ditched the 4x4 and decided to walk up the icy hill with all the equipment necessary to treat the patient. He arrived with the patient and immediately began treating him. An ECG confirmed that the pensioner had suffered a heart attack. Adey wasted no time in thrombolising the patient where he

While Adey was treating the patient another 4x4 private ambulance car managed to reach them by deflating its tyres. Adey and the driver of the private ambulance car managed to walk the patient to the car, pre-alerted High Wycombe Hospital and conveyed the patient to hospital where A&E staff were waiting to receive him.

Adey Varley, a paramedic working out of SCAS's High Wycombe Resource Centre

'I am pleased to say that thrombolising the patient at the scene led to an improved ECG and a general improvement in the gentleman's health en route to hospital. Indeed, when I went back on shift the following evening hospital staff advised me the patient was doing well'.

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