A young man is fortunate to be alive after some off-duty rural nurses and firefighters rapidly stepped in to save his life after he was pulled out of Grande Cache Lake earlier this year.
The Grande Prairie teen was celebrating with friends at a picnic when he jumped off the dock and failed to resurface from the water, said Melanie McKale, site and seniors health manager at the Grande Cache Community Health Complex.
“People do fatigue when providing [CPR, so] this is why it was great to have trained people at the scene who knew how the process works and could switch off compressions to another person as needed.” – Melanie McKale, site and seniors health manager, Grande Cache Community Health Complex
“He was pulled from the water by a friend and was found to be unconscious and not breathing,” said McKale. “[Friends] called for help [and] an off-duty registered nurse responded alongside a local firefighter and immediately began CPR [cardiopulmonary resuscitation].”
Two additional registered nurses on maternity leave and two more off-duty firefighters joined the efforts to try and revive the 17–year–old boy at the lake five km south of the community of Grande Cache.
“The team continued CPR for eight cycles and were able to attain [a] return of spontaneous circulation.” Eight cycles of CPR takes about eight minutes with each cycle consisting of 30 compressions for each two breaths of air, she explained.
“People do fatigue when providing [CPR, so] this is why it was great to have trained people at the scene who knew how the process works and could switch off compressions to another person as needed.”
At that point, emergency services arrived and transported the patient to Grande Cache Community Health Complex for stabilization. He was later flown to Edmonton with STARS air ambulance and made a full recovery.