OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, Columbus Division of Fire and Norwich Township Fire & EMS Recognized for Saving Life of Cardiac Arrest Patient
On April 18, OhioHealth EMS held their monthly EMS Recognition Event. This month’s event recognized the outstanding pre-hospital care given by Columbus Fire Engine 30 and Norwich Township Medic 83.
OhioHealth physicians, leadership and staff all came together to acknowledge those involved in saving the life of a 49-year-old patient who went into cardiac arrest this past February. It was also a day for the patient himself, Mark Hunt, to meet the people who saved his life.
“Like the doctors said, if things hadn’t happened exactly the way they happened, I probably wouldn’t be here,” said Hunt.
On Feb. 2, Hunt was at work when he experienced an acute onset of chest pain. He got in his car to head home and within minutes of being home, he went into cardiac arrest. His fiancé, Celeste Click, immediately jumped into action beginning CPR and calling 911.
“I don’t remember much of anything,” Hunt told Anna Hoffman, a reporter at NBC4.
Ironically, at age 16, Hunt witnessed his own father go into cardiac arrest, due to a heart attack, at their family home. Watching EMS resuscitated and “bring his father back” left a lasting impression.
Both Columbus Fire Engine 30 and Norwich Township Medic 83 responded to the call.
Hoffman spoke with Lieutenant Heith Good with the Norwich Township Fire Department who said, “I think the one thing we can all learn from today is the importance of bystander CPR and that was being done.”
Lieutenant Good said when Norwich Township arrived on scene, Columbus Fire Engine 30 was already performing manual CPR and providing bag valve mask ventilations. Norwich took over CPR, placed a Lucas device and secured his airway. A Lucas device is an automated CPR device that delivers consistent high-quality CPR.
Norwich Township then transported Hunt to OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital.
Warren Yamarick, MD, Director of Emergency Medicine at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, told Hoffman, “While EMS was taking care of the patient a pre-hospital alert was called enabling our team to prepare for Mr. Hunt’s arrival”. The pre-hospital alert also notifies the Cath Lab and interventional cardiologist. Dr Arash Arshi was notified and ready to receive Mr. Hunt.
“When Mr. Hunt arrived, we just fine tuned and continued what EMS had started including the Lucas device which delivers high quality CPR. Nurses started an IV, respiratory, pharmacy, cardiology, the whole team was there,” Dr. Yamarick told the reporter, “It means so much to everybody in the ER that they provide excellent care, and they are our partners pre-hospital. If they don’t do their job, we can’t do ours.”
The Riverside team made quick decisions on what they needed to do to care for Hunt in that moment. After analyzing different options, the multidisciplinary Shock Team decided Hunt need emergently placed on ECMO, (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) if he was going to survive.
"ECMO is a heart/lung machine that is able to supply oxygenated blood to the brain and body while the heart is unable to do so, and this treatment was needed emergently in Hunt's case as he was in prolonged cardiac arrest from his heart attack,” OhioHealth Interventional Cardiologist Arash Arshi, MD, said, “Once his heart function recovered adequately, we were able to remove the ECMO machine.”
Dr. Yamarick told Hoffman, his emergency team would get updates from the Heart and Vascular team on how Hunt was doing and how he responded to the ECMO machine. It was a multi-disciplinary emergency department shock team effort done by several associates including, Cardiologist Arash Arshi, MD, Cardiologist Jefferson M Lyons, MD, Cardiologist John Phillips, MD, Cardiologist Naveen K Saha and Emergency Medicine Physician Daniel Z Adams, MD.
“It so important for our team to hear that because we don’t see the survivability of sudden cardiac arrest very often. But we would hear ‘oh he is starting to wake up, he’s starting to follow commands,” Dr. Yamarick told Hoffman.
Hunt spent 14 days in the hospital and is now participating in cardiac rehab, taking his recovery journey day by day.
Once Hunt was released from the hospital, a few of the firefighters who responded from Columbus Fire Station 30 made a stop at his home to check on him and introduce themselves.
When the reporter asked what now comes to mind when he sees am ambulance or fire truck go by, and he said, “Heroes, absolute heroes.”
During the recognition ceremony, Hunt listened as each organization shared what they remembered from that day and the emotions they feel seeing him there, alive and on his journey to recovery.
“I’m glad that we get an opportunity to see him, to talk to him, and love him, and give him a hug because cases like this is what keeps us going,” Good said.
Dr. Yamarick spoke to everyone at the ceremony reiterating their “Why.”
“Many people ask especially during and after the pandemic, why do you all do this and when I thought about that question, today I really got that answer to my why,” Dr. Yamarick said after the ceremony ended, “We got to meet the patient of an extraordinary success story that involved a highly advanced cardiac resuscitation of Mr. Hunt who received excellent pre-hospital care, a significant part in the chain of survival, quick transportation to Riverside ER and then we made the decision to activate the Shock Team, who emergently placed him on ECMO. This which provided him with enough time for the experts to fix his heart attack and also provide his body with oxygen.
Hunt told both the NBC4 reporter and ABC6 photographer that he is looking forward to getting back to work and house hunting with his fiancé.
Click here to watch the full NBC4 story.