Kingston man thanks those who saved him

All of the links in his “chain of survival” were represented when a 63-year-old Kingston man came to last month’s fire commissioners meeting at North Kitsap Fire & Rescue.

Kevin McGraw wanted to thank them for their actions when he suffered cardiac arrest Oct. 23. The man’s son, Ryan, played a pivotal role in the successful outcome, an NKF&R news release says.

The American Heart Association says the survival chain includes:

• Recognition of cardiac arrest and activation of the emergency medical services

• Early cardiopulmonary resuscitation

• Rapid defibrillation

• Advanced resuscitation by healthcare providers

• Post-cardiac arrest care

• Recovery (including additional treatment, observation and rehabilitation)

After finding his father unresponsive, the son called 9-1-1 and started CPR. Nick Waldbillig answered the son’s call. He sent information to a dispatcher. The first NKF&R crew arrived in just over eight minutes. Seven NKF&R personnel led by firefighter/paramedic Matt Thompson and battalion chief Ryan Buchanan provided CPR, defibrillation and intubation (advanced airway control to ensure oxygen delivery to the patient’s lungs). Treatment continued as the patient was transported to St. Michael Medical Center. The patient arrested several times while en route to Silverdale. Thompson administered medications that prevented additional arrests, and further stabilized the patient.

At the hospital, multidisciplinary care teams stabilized him, including emergency medicine physicians and nurses, imaging specialists, pharmacists, a cardiologist and an intensivist. Once stable, the patient was cleared for cardiac intervention. With a cardiac program in the top 10 percent in the country for care, the cardiology team first conducted a procedure to increase blood flow to his heart. Subsequently, he had a pacemaker with an internal defibrillator placed to detect and stop irregular heartbeats in the future. Throughout his stay, the post-op care team, including respiratory therapists, nutritionists, case managers and physical therapists, collaborated to ensure his recovery.

“Every part of the chain of survival is vital, but the son’s actions were the key link in his father’s successful resuscitation,” NKF&R assistant chief Rick LaGrandeur said.