EMS-Focused Trauma Center, 101 minutes of CPR and Medics for Megan

Issue 6 and Volume 40.


EMS-Focused Trauma Center

When the John Pryor Trauma Center opened at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia, it redefined how prehospital providers get involved with the continuation of patient care. The trauma bay floor was designed specifically with EMS in mind–the foot of each of the five patient beds has a dedicated area for EMS providers to give reports and observe patient treatment.

“We had the opportunity to build our new trauma center at Penn literally from the bottom up with our prehospital providers in mind,” said Professor of Emergency Medicine and JEMS Medical Editor Edward T. Dickinson, MD. “Incorporating the star of life EMS box at the foot of each of the stretchers in the trauma bay assures EMS providers have a dedicated position to provide their patient hand-off reports to the receiving trauma team, as well as the opportunity to then observe the care of their patient at the side of the trauma team leader.”

The Level 1 trauma center, named after Trauma Surgeon John Pryor who was tragically killed while serving as a military surgeon in Iraq, is for the hospital’s most seriously injured patients, making it an inherently chaotic place to be. That’s why the John Pryor Trauma Center includes a quiet EMS lounge where providers can concentrate on completing paperwork with a coffee while decompressing from a potentially exhausting call.

We give the John Pryor Medical Center a thumbs up for designing with EMS in mind. Integrating EMS personnel into the continuation of care helps guarantee patients receive the best, most thorough care possible.

Endurance EMS

It was a crisp day in March when 22-month-old Gardell Martin and his 7-year-old brother Greg were playing outside their Pennsylvania home. Their mother then experienced every parent’s worst nightmare–Greg rushed into their home saying Gardell was missing.

After the Martins thoroughly searched their five-acre property, a neighbor found Gardell stuck on a tree branch, face down in an icy creek. He didn’t have a pulse.

Responders from Mifflinburg Ambulance Company arrived on scene, and it was then that paramedics Michael Lesher and Anthony Pirraglia performed a true act of perseverance–they gave the child CPR non-stop for more than 40 minutes. They continued to try to revive Gardell while in the ambulance, and the child continued to receive CPR at a local hospital, in a medical helicopter and finally in the ED. After a total of 101 minutes of continued CPR, Gardell woke up without any brain damage, and is now living life as a normal, curious toddler.

We give all the rescuers involved thumbs up for never giving up on a patient, and being a role model for others to follow. We thank Lesher and Pirraglia for showing how important early and continuous CPR can be to saving a life.

Medics for Megan

Sometimes what EMS personnel do off the clock is just as impactful, if not more, than what they do while on the clock. Cornwall Stormont Dundas & Glengarry (SD&G) EMS from Ontario, Canada, proved this to be true when they helped raise more than $8,000 for Megan Keeler, an 8-year-old girl battling cancer who’s the niece of four department members. Three medics shaved their heads at EMS headquarters in March to raise funds for Megan and her family, and to also show support to this young girl as she undergoes intense medical treatments.

However, the money raised wasn’t just the effort of one group. The local paramedics union contributed $2,500 and the Cornwall Professional Fire Fighters Association donated $625 to push the total funds over the $6,000 mark. With the help of local police, city employees and local businesses, the donations keep growing. Megan’s cousin even donated 90 cents after she collected change from around the house.

Cornwall paramedic Scott Halliday says this isn’t the first time his department has united to lend a helping hand.

“Paramedics are different people–we care both on the job and outside of work,” he said. “We can’t just turn off the switch and say we’re not paramedics when not in uniform. Many paramedics from our service volunteer with organizations making a difference in our community. As they say, it’s a calling, not just a job.”

We give Cornwall SD&G EMS a thumbs up for reaching out to help a young girl win her life back even when they weren’t on the job. We also salute the entire Cornwall community for collaborating among various organizations and departments to raise funds for Megan’s treatment.