The nurse falls unexpectedly during a training session causing her teammates to gather around and resuscitate her.
Certain moments have the power to change a person's soul from the inside out. Andy Hoang went through something like that when she suffered an unexpected cardiac arrest, reports the Associated Press. Being 23 years old and fairly healthy, she never expected to be afflicted with such a health scare. Coincidentally it happened to her when she was giving training on how to handle heart attacks as a nurse. Her co-workers stepped up and helped her through this medical nightmare. Through all this, she has come out with a renewed appreciation for life, family, and friends.
The training session was taking place at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. In the middle of the training, she began to feel dizzy as well as nauseated and wanted to sit down. They were the precursors to her cardiac arrest. “That’s the last thing I remember,” she explained. “I woke up to a room full of doctors and nurses.” Hoang is a native of Vietnam and came to America as a student in 2016. At present, she is in New Hampshire to pursue nursing. Before that, she was studying graphic design, but eventually changed paths when she saw how impactful nurses were in her grandfather's ailment.
Hoang's colleagues immediately turned their attention to her. They began applying all their learnings on her rather than a mannequin. “One checked her carotid, one her femoral (arteries), and she did not have a pulse,” instructor Lisa Davenport said. As her colleagues were tending to her the nurses put into effect "code blue." This indicates to the hospital that a medical emergency is in play within the institution. “What was stressful about the situation was that we never had a real code blue in the center,” Davenport said. “We train for them all the time.” The team was getting overwhelmed and Davenport asked for more help on the premises. Luckily, she came across the Lebanon hospital’s critical care team who got the situation under control.
Hoang was hooked up to a defibrillator for monitoring. Thereafter an IV line was inserted and oxygen assistance was given. A doctor quickly rushed in from another department with a crash cart. By the time the emergency team arrived, Hoang had begun to regain consciousness. The whole duration of Hoang losing her consciousness and then reaching the emergency department was just 15 minutes but for everyone involved it felt way longer.
“It worked out, but it was pretty frightening for all of us,” Davenport said. “You just don’t expect that to happen with someone as young as Andy.” Charmaine Martin, one of the nurses at the scene was proud of the performance the team put on during such an intense situation. Hoang is still in disbelief at what happened on that day. The nurse maintains a healthy lifestyle with regular runs and gym 4 times a week. She had no risk factors for such a condition. In her entire family, nobody ever had a history of heart ailments. However in two instances before cardiac arrest, she lost consciousness. The first one was due to low blood sugar while the latter was due to sharp pain in the abdomen. But none of them hinted to her that something like a cardiac arrest could be on the horizon.
Doctors during the treatment made Hoang wear a patch so that they could monitor the electrical activity of her heart. They did so in hopes that they could get an idea about what caused the cardiac arrest. The nurse due to the life-or-death experience has developed a deep bond with her teammates. She now regards them as her best friends for persevering with her at such a difficult time. After the incident, it feels as if she is working with her "family" who will always have her back. Her real family is extremely grateful for the care shown by all the medical personnel.
The cardiac arrest has transformed the way Hoang is approaching life. “It changed my perspective on how I view life, like ‘Hug your family a little longer,’” she said. “Tell them that you love them, because it might be the last time you get to say it to them. And just cherish life for what you’ve been given. It’s precious, and I didn’t realize how precious it was until I nearly lost it.”