Team Effort Saves Local Man’s Life after Cardiac Arrest
Fulton, MO –
In the early morning hours of October 27, 2022, John Johnson, of Fulton, began experiencing difficulty breathing at his home. Family members called 911, which set in motion the team response that would ultimately save his life. After obtaining the necessary information, the 911 operator dispatched Central Fire Protection District, Fulton Fire Department, and Callaway County EMS units to the scene. The 911 operator stayed on the line with Mr. Johnson’s family member to reassure them and keep them calm until emergency responders arrived at the scene.
Units from the fire department arrived first and found Mr. Johnson to be in significant respiratory distress. When the Callaway County EMS unit arrived on the scene, the ALS crew found Mr. Johnson to be in severe respiratory distress that required immediate intervention. While preparing to place Mr. Johnson on BiPAP, he experienced seizure like activity and suffered a cardiac arrest. CPR was initiated by responders. ALS treatment was initiated, including an IV infusion, epinephrine (a drug used to increase blood flow to heart muscle), cardiac monitoring, drug assisted intubation, and the use of a transport ventilator. After approximately 5 mins of CPR and ALS care, Mr. Johns
on’s heart began beating on its own and his condition improved. ALS supportive care was maintained during transport to the hospital. Mr. Johnson maintained a pulse during the transport to the hospital where he was released to the ER staff for definitive care.
Mr. Johnson was eventually released from the hospital to return home.
The positive outcome of this case would not have been possible without the team effort of Callaway County Joint Communications (Chastity Winingear and Pace McKinney), Central Fire Protection District (Holly Spencer), Fulton Fire Department (Steve Sessler, Lance Williams, Daniel Bailey, Jeremy Milam) and Callaway County EMS (Reagan Delima, William Murray, and Susan Hertzler-Volz.
Today, these individuals were presented with Callaway County EMS’s Life Saving Award in recognition of their actions to save Mr. Johnson’s life.
More than 350,000 people suffer cardiac arrests outside of a hospital setting every year in the United States, and less than 8 percent survive, according to the American Heart Association. Doing CPR doubles the victim's chance of survival.
Defibrillation, which means delivering an electric shock to the heart, is the only known treatment to restore the heart to a normal rhythm after cardiac arrest, and it must be done quickly. Studies show that the victim's chance of survival decreases 10 percent for every minute that defibrillation is delayed.
Emergency responders from Callaway County Joint Communications, Central Fire Protection District, Fulton Fire Department, and Callaway EMS are pictured with John Johnson, who they resuscitated after he suffered a cardiac arrest. The team effort of the agencies involved and the care from the hospital team allowed Mr. Johnson to rejoin his family and continue his living his life.