Earlier this year while at work Iain Gunn, a father-of-two had a cardiac arrest. His quick-thinking colleagues provided life-saving CPR and used a defibrillator prior to paramedics and medic one arriving.
Last week he returned to meet the Medic One team and to help us launch some new, life saving equipment.
Here is Iain's story;
As there has been so much in the news recently about the importance of CPR to give increased chance of survival when there is an Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest, this is the story of my experience and reason for backing any training or promoting CPR.
It was Tuesday 28th of July at around 13:50, though I have no memory of this or in fact the whole day. I was at work and sure it will have been a pretty normal day working alongside my colleague and friend Alistair Mckean.
Without any warning I collapsed. Though not first aid trained Alistair checked for a pulse and never found one, he asked someone to call the nurse which kicks into place the emergency process at my workplace. An ambulance is called also first aiders and the on-site occupational health nurse are all called and informed of an emergency and its location.
Meantime all credit must go to Alistair who took the decision to begin CPR, this would prove to be the start off all efforts made that are allowing me to be here today on the road to recovery. Next on the scene was Frank Farmer the first, first aider to arrive, followed by June Morrison one of the occupational health nurses on site June who took over the CPR from Alistair.
There was other first aiders in attendance and other members of staff who I owe a great deal of gratitude to all this prior to the emergency services arriving.
From all recollections of events the paramedics when they arrived on the scene were so professional. I’m assuming that their team took control of the situation and were apparently amazing, so professional and organized. At some stage in the proceedings the decision was made to call in Medic One, again the praise from all in attendance from my workplace was that the whole exercise was like a military procedure so calm and so well organised.
I was worked on at my place of work for about one and a half hours from start to finish. During this time my heart stopped for 20 minutes the CPR performed was so important to increase my chance of survival.
The manual CPR being performed was replaced with an automatic CPR machine which again I was fortunate that was in the kit of the emergency services team.
Due to my veins collapsing an Intraosseous infusion (I think it’s called) was performed on my humerus (at shoulder end) to allow the injection of various fluids. I believe the decision was taken to put me into an induced coma to again give me a better chance of recovery and reduce any risk of further trauma to my major organs and brain.
All this could only be done with the expertise and skills off the paramedics and medic one team, certain procedures can only be performed by the medic one team, we, and myself in particular are so fortunate to have them and that they were available on the day and time in question. I have been fortunate enough to meet up with the medic 1 team finding out more about how they treated me on the day and more about what the team generally do. I had heard of medic one before my incident however I had no idea that this amazing and critical service is only partially funded and relies on some charitable funding.
Anyway after an hour and a half of amazing work I was now ready to take a police escort from my work to the other side of the city to the Edinburgh Royal infirmary. Carefully monitored on the way over by the medic 1 team as I was anaesthetised and ventilated.
This is where the next stage on my road to recovery began. I was admitted via the Emergency Department immediately and the first thing which happened was an angiogram where the decision was made to fit a stent as one coronary artery was slightly narrowed.
I spent about 40 hours in the induced coma which I was then taken care of in ICU (ward 118) again the staff were so professional caring and helpful to my family as well and kept them well informed of what was happening during this period.
I was woken up on Thursday 30th of July this was a bit of a surprise to me as I have no recollection of events over the last few days. Over the next two and a bit weeks I moved from ward 118 to 114 (Coronary Care) then finally to 103 the care and attention, the friendliness of the staff, the helpfulness of the staff was all tremendous.
During my stay I had an x-ray, heart scan and MRI of my heart along with the angiogram all this showed that I have Dilated cardiomyopathy.
The day before I was released I had an ICD (implantable cardiac defibrillator) fitted this along with a long list of medication will all aid me to make a full recovery and back to a decent level of fitness.
So where am I now 18/10/2015 while my praise for the staff of the NHS continues my own GP at Springwell Medical centre have been excellent. I have attended the Astley Ainslie where I was assessed then started on my rehabilitation, this for me is carried out at the WHEC (Wester Hails Education Centre) with NHS staff this is another great service which as well as rebuilding your fitness levels it also addresses other issues like confidence, education, stress and goal setting.
So all in all my own experience of the NHS is that from start to finish and continuing has been second to none.
I feel good and am on the road to recovery. I am again very fortunate that my employer Selex ES in Edinburgh are putting me under no pressure to return to work, the occupational health department offer great help and advice and will continually assess and determine my phased back to work when I am ready to get back to work.
I am looking forward to getting back to work when I am fully fit, a few of my other heroes work there!
Finally I am so lucky to have the family I have, who have all gone through so much, possibly a worse experience for all of them than it has been for me, my wife, son and daughter and all my brothers, my sister, their families and my mother who have all given me so much support.
“Iain has made a remarkable recovery and it was a real privilege for the team to see him again.”
“Iain was extremely lucky to have received CPR from work colleagues. If they had hesitated, even for just for a minute, the outcome could have been very different. The Medic One team provided advanced life saving interventions at the scene of the incident."
We have purchased two completely new Medic One Response sets. These include state of the art equipment in order to carry out all of the life-saving interventions which might be required to treat our patients in the prehospital environment.
This is combined with the launch of our new Medic One App. It runs on our internal Medic One iPhones and is developed by one of our Emergency Medicine doctors Dr. Dave McKean:
"This is a massive step forward for Medic One, enabling our clinicians to access mission critical data at the roadside to improve patient care.
It also enables us to create a more robust clinical governance framework to improve safety and consistency.
It builds on work I have done previously with Prehospital and Retrieval teams around the world and it makes me very proud to be able to do this in my home department!"
Iain's story has been featured in the Edinburgh Evening News this week. The story can be read here.
Medic One is the oldest pre-hospital care team in the UK. Launched in the 1980s by Dr Keith Little, it takes the hospital to the patient in order to provide lifesaving care at the scene of an accident or serious incident. Based at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh Emergency Department, Medic One is activated to attend patients across South East Scotland, from the Borders to Fife. Medic One is a charity, generous donations and annual fundraising events help us purchase up to date equipment to save further lives. Find out more here.