A code blue was recently called at the Sun River Health Elsie Owens Community Health Center in Coram involving a patient in the front lobby who was unresponsive. When Dr. Nadia Arif arrived at the scene, the staff pointed to a woman of about 40 years old who was being held up by her daughter. The patient’s eyes were wide-open, but she was completely unresponsive. Dr. Arif noticed foam around the patient’s mouth and thought that she might be having a seizure. When she put on her stethoscope to listen for a heartbeat, she couldn’t hear anything at all.
At that point, she asked a staff member to call 911 right away and had the patient moved off the bench she was sitting on and onto the floor. She checked for a heartbeat again and still couldn’t hear anything. Dr. Pesce, who was also present, put his hand on the patient’s left wrist to check for a pulse but couldn’t find one. At that point, Dr. Arif decided to immediately start CPR, realizing that the patient might be in cardiac arrest. Throughout it all, a whole team of health center clinicians and other staff members had gathered around offering advice, getting oxygen ready, and helping in any way they could. After 30 chest compressions, Dr. Arif felt the patient jolt slightly and her pulse came back. She was immediately put on oxygen, and her heartbeat slowly but surely became stronger and stronger. Afterwards, other staff members told Dr. Arif that they had seen the patient’s lips and fingers turn blue, and that her color started to come back once her heart started beating again.
The EMS arrived and put the patient on a stretcher to take her to the hospital. By that point, she was moving a little bit. When Dr. Arif later spoke with hospital staff on the phone, she was told that the patient was now alert and speaking with her family. She was even able to briefly speak with the patient herself with the help of a translator.
Thanks to Dr. Arif, Dr. Pesce, Dr. Philip, Dr. Foreste, and the entire Elsie Owens Community Health Center team for helping to save this patient’s life. We commend you all!