Pharmacist Lauren Kirkpatrick, PharmD, was in an airport about to fly to San Francisco when she heard someone a few gates away yell, “Does anyone know CPR?” the Commercial-News reported Feb. 25.
Dr. Kirkpatrick, who works at Danville, Ill.-based OSF HealthCare Sacred Heart Medical Center and the Bobette Steely Hegeler Cancer Care Center, said she thought she misheard before the exclamation was repeated. Along with a nurse practitioner also on Dr. Kirkpatrick’s flight, she went to the airline worker standing above a woman lying on the ground.
The nurse practitioner, who is not named in the Commercial-News, was running through the person’s medical history and symptoms when her mental status began declining.
Worried about the issue progressing, Dr. Kirkpatrick saw an automated external defibrillator on the far wall of the terminal and grabbed it. By the time she returned to the scene, the woman no longer had a pulse and the nurse practitioner began chest compressions. The two hooked up the AED, defibrillated the woman’s heart and gave chest compressions in turns.
The woman’s pulse returned.
“I’m really glad the nurse practitioner was there because my heart was pounding so hard,” Dr. Kirkpatrick told the Commercial-News.
Emergency medical services showed up and took over. By the time the pharmacist boarded her flight, the woman was breathing on her own and EMS was transporting her.
This was the first time she has worked an AED and one of the few times she has done chest compressions. Despite this, Dr. Kirkpatrick said she was thinking clearly thanks to quarterly resuscitation quality improvement training, her experience in emergency medicine and working in the ICU at OSF.