HOSPITAL NEWS The 64-year-old says she was shopping with her husband Stanley at Whitford City when he suffered a heart attack. “He suddenly went very pale and dropped to the floor so I ran over and started chest compressions immediately while bystanders called an ambulance and centre security arrived with a defibrillator,” she said. What happened next came as a shock to the couple – and to doctors. While Stanley was being treated at Joondalup Health Campus, Margaret said she began feeling unwell herself and experiencing chest pain: “After witnessing my husband’s sudden heart attack, I knew I had to speak up and so I informed the nurses – they acted immediately in getting me help,” she said. Joondalup Health Campus Director of Cardiology, Dr Jenny Deague, said she was at home on-call when she got a message from hospital staff about Mrs Walkerden: “I said to them, ‘Mrs Walkerden? I’ve just treated Mr Walkerden!’” “Sure enough Mr Walkerden’s wife was experiencing chest pain and needed an urgent angiogram. The angiogram showed normal coronary arteries but evidence of Takotsubo’s Cardiomyopathy, better known as Broken Heart Syndrome or Stress Cardiomyopathy.” “This is a heart condition that is often brought on by stressful situations, like severe illness or intense emotional, physical or psychological stress, such as the death of a loved one, fierce arguments or financial hardship,” Dr Deague said. “It’s not very common at all, but the good news is that her overall prognosis is good and this condition often gets better very quickly with standard medicines. Mrs Walkerden is now at home and doing very well.” Dr Deague praised Mrs Walkerden’s quick thinking and immediate actions and credited her with saving his life: 12 The Ramsay Way 2016 | 03 “What Mrs Walkerden did in starting cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on her husband so quickly really did save his life – those first few minutes are absolutely critical and she did exactly the right thing in starting chest compressions immediately.” “A little-known change to CPR guidelines in recent years is that you don’t have to do mouth-to-mouth anymore – chest compressions alone are enough to keep a person alive so the need for mouth-to-mouth contact with someone in cardiac arrest is no longer strictly necessary.” “Mrs Walkerden knew this because of her daughters’ recent first aid training knowledge and discussions they’d had at home.” Dr Deague said the Walkerdens were a good example of how knowing what to do when someone is having a heart attack is vital: “Early CPR can make the difference between life or death in sudden cardiac arrest, so the main thing to remember is to take action quickly and start chest compressions – you don’t need to worry about how many breaths and how many compressions, you just need to get started,” she said. “In the past the fear of getting it wrong may have stopped a by-stander from commencing CPR. This year nearly thirty thousand Australians could die from cardiac arrest because too few bystanders have basic CPR skills.” $11,000 ‘Cuddle Cot’ for St George Private “For anyone who has had a stillborn baby, the hardest part is watching everyone else walk out of hospital holding a newborn – while you leave clutching only a teddy bear,” says Chloe Stavlas, 33 who lost her baby at 37 weeks October last year. But despite her heartbreaking loss, the Shellharbour mum and her Sutherland police officer husband Dion, have used the experience to help others – and raised $11,000 on Facebook in order to donate a “Cuddle Cot” to St George Private Hospital last month. “A few days before our baby Chrissi was due, I was at home and instinctively felt the baby had stopped kicking. I went to Figtree Private Hospital where scans confirmed the baby’s heart had stopped beating,” says Chloe. “It was devastating, but what really helped was having a cuddle cot – a special device for stillborn babies that was donated to the hospital from another mum who had lost her baby.” Fitted with a blue electrical unit and insulated cold blanket, the Cuddle Cot provides a temporary resting place – allowing a fuller "cradle to grave" experience for traumatised parents in need of comfort. Shortly afterwards, Chloe, a former Carlton resident, started up a Facebook Fundraising account to raise money for Bears of Hope – with the aim to provide more Cuddle Cots to hospitals in southern NSW. The couple, together with the Lyons Club Bowral, raised enough to buy and donate the cuddle cot to St George Private last month. St George Private Hospital Director of Clinical Services, Matt Wall, thanked the couple for their “extraordinary” generosity. “Six Australian families are affected by stillbirth every day. For Chloe and Dion to think about others despite their own heartache is truly selfless.” For Chloe, now pregnant with her third baby (a boy), hope is the most important thing to cling to after pregnancy loss. “When the world tells us to “give up” hope whispers to try one more time,” says Chloe. “The next child after a pregnancy loss is like a rainbow. He is ours, but we still haven’t forgotten the journey of how we came to be here. We wanted to give to others that gift of time with their baby.” Broken Heart Syndrome for Grandmother who Saved Husband’s Life For Perth grandmother, Margaret Walkerden, a trip to her local shopping centre turned into a race to save her husband’s life and ended with an unexpected medical twist of her own. Dion and Chloe with St George Private midwife Lisa Loveland and the cuddle cot machine. If a person becomes unconscious and is not breathing the current recommended steps are: 1 Call for help Yell loudly to those around you to call for an ambulance and locate the nearest automated external defibrillator. 2 Start chest compressions With the palm of your hand push hard and fast in the centre of the chest. 3 Continue chest compressions At a rate of 100 – 120 beats per minute – that’s about two compressions every second – until a defibrillator is located or the ambulance arrives. Quick-acting Margaret Walkerden at her husband Stanley’s bedside, with granddaughter Megan, after he suffered a heart attack.
The Ramsay Way - 03 - 2016
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