Tragic endings are all too common during emergencies requiring 911 calls and emergency medical service situations.
Thanks to an alert, caring citizen, highly trained EMS staff, and full-time station coverage, the Clintonville Area Ambulance Service was recently able to help prevent a tragic ending.
The Clintonville Area Ambulance Service responded to a call for a possible seizure outside a downtown establishment on Jan. 9 at 12:28 p.m. The patient, 49-year-old Dale Reismann had just left a business and a citizen driving by witnessed him stumble and fall to the ground. The driver stopped and called 911.
The ambulance crew consisting of Paramedic Lynn Schober and Advanced EMT Shelly Schroepfer responded and arrived on scene at 12:29 p.m. The rapid response time is in part due to the ambulance service moving to full time station coverage as of Jan. 1. Once on scene Dale was evaluated and found to not have a pulse and was not breathing. CPR was initiated immediately and the crew requested assistance of a third EMT, at which time Advanced EMT Brad Brehm responded to the scene. Mark Zachow from the Clintonville Police Department also assisted the crew by acquiring equipment and assisting with moving Reismann to the ambulance.
When Reismann was connected to a heart monitor he was found to have a rhythm called ventricular fibrillation. This is common in episodes of sudden collapse and will not support life, therefore to alleviate this, an “electrical shock”, better known as defibrillation was applied to his heart. Throughout the resuscitation Reismann received a total of five defibrillations. Transportation began to New London Medical Center. During transport, CPR was continued and several different medications were given to help restore a heartbeat and stabilize it. Reismann also received an advanced airway to assist his breathing.
About five minutes from New London Medical Center, Reismann’s heart started to beat and he started to breathe on his own. Reismann was taken to Appleton Medical Center (AMC) by Theda Star Helicopter. At AMC his body was cooled by a process called induced hypothermia. This treatment is relatively new, but evidence shows it has a major positive effect in the outcomes of cardiac arrest victims. He also received cardiac surgical interventions.
Once Reismann was warmed up, he awoke and slowly started to follow commands and recognize individuals. He is now home and recuperating well. Although he does not remember any of his resuscitation, he is grateful for all that everyone did for him.
Clintonville Area Ambulance Service Director Don Kimlicka advised that Reismann is a great example of what can occur when everything falls into place. “From the start, the bystander who witnessed him collapsing and being concerned enough to stop and call 911 was the most important component, as when someone’s heart stops the chance of survival dwindles about 10 percent every minute,” Kimlicka said. “The rapid response by the crew, partially due to the crew being in-house, was next. Finally, early CPR, defibrillation and advanced level treatment provided by the ambulance crew along with the interventions provided by the health care facilities gave Reismann every opportunity for a positive outcome.”
Kimlicka suggests that everyone should learn CPR. “Although situations such as this do not happen often, Reismann is a classic example of the possible outcomes when people are aware of what is going on around them and get involved,” he concluded.