Entries in Emergency (4)


Woman Saved by Wrong Number 

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio) -- Loretta Smith, 70, of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, is back home from the hospital Friday. She was having a stroke last week when she tried to call her son. Instead she got Kenny Crater, 28, a student who lives in Broomfield, Colo., near Denver. It was a mis-dialed call that ended up saving her life.

“If I would have kept laying on that floor, I would have died,” Smith told ABC News.

Last Saturday, Smith was sitting on her bed when the right side of her body went numb. She fell off of her bed and landed on her left arm, the only arm that she could move.

“I was scared to death. A million things go through your mind,” she said.

Thinking that she was on the brink of death, Smith flailed about, trying to free her arm. In the process, Smith knocked into her dresser. Her phone fell out of its holster on the dresser and landed next to her left hand.

Smith tried to dial her son’s number, but dialed one digit incorrectly and instead got Crater on the line in Colorado. Instead of hanging up, he listened to her tell him that she was having a stroke and where she lived. He then called his closest police department, the Broomfield Police Department, who transferred him to Cuyahoga Falls police.

In a recording of his call to Cuyahoga Falls Police, Crater can be heard trying to describe the unusual situation.

Crater: I’m in Broomfield, Colorado right now, somebody [sic] was asking -- they’re having a stroke and they called my phone. … It sounded like an older woman.

Dispatcher: Do you know who it is?

Crater: I have no idea who it is. It’s just a freaky thing that she called me …

He gave them her address and phone number. Dispatchers then called Smith and had her describe the situation. Paramedics arrived at her house within the hour and she was taken to Summa Western Reserve Hospital where she was treated.

Smith said that doctors told her that it was a good thing that she got to the hospital so quickly and a few hours more could have caused irreparable damage.

Crater dismissed Smith’s portrayal of him as a hero.

“All I did was answer a phone and made a phone call. I kind of think it’s silly that the world is that hard up for heroes,” he said. He even thinks that it is Smith who should be described as a hero.

“She was the one who was having a stroke and still gave me all of her information. She was the one who survived the stroke,” he said.

But Smith will always credit Crater and his kindness for saving her.

“He’s like my guardian angel…Kenny Crater, he’s my hero,” Smith said.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Two-Year-Old ‘Superhero’ Saves Mom’s Life

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) -- Lia Vega is only 2, but her mother is calling her a superhero. The little girl made a phone call Thursday that saved her mother’s life.

Lia was at her grandmother’s house in Houston with her mother, Larissa Taylor, and her baby sister when Taylor blacked out and collapsed, according to Houston affiliate KTRK-TV. Lia picked up her mother’s phone and called her grandmother, Bobbie Gonzalez, for help.

“She said, ‘My mom fell down,’” Gonzalez told KTRK. “I said, ‘Let me talk to your mom.’ And she said, ‘She won’t wake up.’”

“I never taught her how to use the phone, so I have no idea how she picked it up. I assume just by watching us,” Taylor said.

Gonzalez called 911 and rushed home, and Taylor got to the hospital just in time. There, she got an unexpected diagnosis: diabetes. Taylor told KTRK she never knew she was diabetic.

Dr. Lee Green, a professor of family medicine at the University of Michigan, said Taylor might have simply missed the symptoms of the disease or confused them with something else. The classic symptoms of diabetes -- dehydration, increased urination, fatigue and headache -- can seem a lot like a simple virus or the flu.

“This is someone who might have been feeling lousy for a while,” Green said.

However minor the symptoms might seem, he added, they are worth a visit to the doctor’s office.

Taylor said her story can serve as a lesson to other mothers about teaching their children how to use the phone in an emergency, especially if they have medical problems.

Lia is getting lots of love and praise from her family for her quick thinking. “She’s been wearing a towel around the house, calling herself a superhero,” Taylor said. “Definitely, she’s my little superhero.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Reduced 'Door-To-Balloon' Time Helping to Save Heart Attack Patients

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW HAVEN, Conn.) -- Most heart attacks are caused by a clot obstructing the flow of blood through an artery.  In a medical emergency, the time it takes to get a patient to treatment can be a matter of life or death.  When a heart attack patient arrives at a hospital, the faster blood-flow is re-established, the greater the chance of their survival.  "Door-To-Balloon time" or D2B is what healthcare professionals call the time between a patient's arrival at a hospital, to the time a balloon catheter or stent is inflated in the blocked artery.  

A new study by Yale School of Medicine finds that almost all heart attack patients who need this emergency artery-opening procedure, also known as angioplasty, are now receiving it within 90 minutes of walking through the hospital door.  In 2010, 91 percent of these patients were treated in a D2B time of less than 90 minutes; many (70 percent), in under 75-minutes.

That's a dramatic increase from just five years ago when only half as many patients (44 percent) received treatment in 90-minutes, the recommended time.

This improvement marks a great success for the healthcare community and their nationally coordinated campaign to get these times down, known as the "D2B Alliance."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Some Patients Getting 'Too Fat' for Ambulances?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LONDON) - Some ambulance services are being forced to specialize their equipment to accommodate patients who are "too fat" for regular ambulances, reports the BBC.

In the U.K., every ambulance service has had to buy new equipment ranging from wider stretchers and reinforced lifting gear to brand-new ambulances that are made to carry obese patients in an emergency. And the changes don't come cheap.

The BBC reports that so-called "bariatric ambulances" can cost around $150,000. Even additions to regular ambulances such as wider stretchers and heavy-duty stretchers can cost around $11,000.

Jo Webber, director of the Ambulance Service Network, told the BBC that ambulance services have no choice but to make the necessary changes.

"The fact is patients are getting larger and larger and ambulances need to be able to respond immediately to what could be life-threatening situations," Webber said. "Every service is having to invest money in this. It shows that some of the lifestyle changes we are seeing have a range of costs. It is not just about treating them, but the infrastructure costs as well."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio