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Rhoda Read nurses defibrillator training saves Berkeley’s life

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Retired Pateronga farmer Berkeley Clark, 83, is living proof training for saving lives is just as important as actually saving them.

He was visiting his now late mother-in-law Lois Hart at Rhoda Read Continuing Care in Morrinsville on 21 June when he collapsed and fell at the doorway.

Mr Clark woke up in an ambulance on his way to Waikato Hospital and learned of the life-saving actions staff at the facility had done to keep him alive.

And ironically it was a defibrillator he and his fellow Morrinsville Pakeke Lions Club members helped raised the money for, staff used courtesy of the training they received with Dr Rob Sinclair, the Director of the Waikato Skills and Simulation Centre at Waikato Hospital.

Using the defibrillator, staff delivered shocks as per the machine prompts, performed compressions throughout and maintained Mr Clark’s airway.

The Lions Club have been involved with the Heart Foundation Appeal for some time at Rhoda Read and were instrumental in providing funding for a conservatory as well as the defibrillator.

This was not the first time Mr Clark had been in strife with his heart. In 2009 he was rescued from a cardiac arrest at Puketaha by two off duty paramedics.

Speaking at Waikato Hospital while waiting for cardiologist Dr Clyde Wade to perform the operation to insert a pacemaker, Mr Clark thanked everyone involved for their expertise and professionalism.

Now back home with wife Elaine, it will not be long before he will back at his favourite pastime, fishing.

Charge nurse manager Stephanie Smyth said the nurses on duty did an amazing job thanks to the training they received at Waikato Hospital with Dr Sinclair's team.

Each year his team organises a session for all staff to refresh their resuscitation skills, familiarising themselves with the equipment and gaining confidence to take action should they be faced with the real thing.

"They did this superbly and did everything right by immediately recognising the collapse, calling for help, providing effective CPR and most of all using the defibrillator as they had been trained to do," said Dr Sinclair.

"The main goal is to provide early defibrillation. This is time critical hence the placement of such devices all over hospitals and many places in the (Waikato) community.

"We have had other similar stories from other areas," he said.

"The training session covers CPR, airway management and use of the machine followed by realistic scenarios where participants have to problem solve and take action."

Waikato DHB clinical staff all get the same training. The overall goal is to have everyone understanding the priorities, having someone provide leadership, keeping the resuscitation process simple and most of all giving the patient the best chance of a successful and timely outcome," said Dr Sinclair.

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