Tuesday, February 07, 2006

AED Save in Texarkana

From the Texarkana Gazette (emphasis added - seven!):

Lionell Joseph holds the distinguished honor of being able to tell a story that few people ever the get the chance to tell—the story of the day he died.

Joseph swears he was surrounded by angels that day.

But he isn’t talking about angels from the realm of heaven. The angels he speaks of are the earth-bound variety, otherwise known as his coworkers at International Paper Mill in Domino, Texas. Joseph, 55, says if it weren’t for them, he wouldn’t be here today.

It was close to the 11 p.m. shift change at the IP mill in Domino, Texas, when coworkers found Lionell Joseph laid out and unresponsive in the pulp wood control room.

Someone sounded the emergency alarm which immediately calls for help from the mill’s Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT), setting into motion a chain of events that eventually saved Lionell’s life.

“I walked into work and I heard the alarm go off,” said Wiley Clark, an IP employee and one of the first to arrive on the scene where Lionell lay dying. “He was turning blue. He had no pulse and he wasn’t breathing. We initiated CPR with an AED (artificial external defibrillator) ... which was right there.”

Though he had received hours of training to teach him how to deal with a situation like this, the reality of being the link between life and death for a man that he liked and respected weighed heavily on Clark’s shoulders.

“I was nervous and scared,” Clark said of his role in saving Joseph’s life. “But I took a deep breath and I knew what we had to do.”

Clark and another coworker began CPR immediately. By the time the medical response team arrived on the scene, the two already had Joseph hooked up to one of seven AEDs located across IP’s 1,300 acre mill.


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