Cardiac Arrest Patient Thanks Walgreens Employees for Saving Her Life

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Walgreens Pharmacist Nicole O'Tool hugs Walgreens customer Jennifer Scott who collapsed in the store on July 11 (Roger Riley WHO-HD)

Walgreens Pharmacist Nicole O’Toole hugs Walgreens customer Jennifer Scott who collapsed in the store on July 11 (Roger Riley WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa — Two Walgreens employees were recognized Wednesday morning for their efforts to save the life of a customer in cardiac arrest. On Saturday, July 11 Jennifer Scott entered the store.

“Miss Scott came to the counter and stated she didn’t feel well and then went down,” said Pharmacist Nicole O’Toole.

O’ Toole called 9-1-1 then determined Scott did not have a pulse and was not breathing, she began Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, or CPR.

Another Walgreens employee, Jackie Perry got on the phone with Des Moines emergency dispatch.

Soon Medic 9 and Truck 9 arrived from the Fire Station just down the street.

Scott was taken to the hospital, was released, and was able to attend the ceremony. She thanked all those involved.

“If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be alive today,” said Scott. “I think God brought me where I was, so they could help me in my time of need.”

Chief John TeKippe read a certificate of appreciation for O’Toole, and Perry. He also recognized Senior Medic Doug Armstrong, Firefighter Marc Nielsen, Engineer Kerry Pryzbylski, Firefighter John Jensen, and Firefighter Ted Bolten.

Also recognized was Des Moines Public Safety Dispatcher Ben Andrews, who answered the 9-1-1 call, as well as Des Moines Police Officer Matt Hunter.

Des Moines Senior Fire Medic Tony Sposeto said Des Moines is working on improving saving people like Scott. He said the key is for bystanders to get involved early. He said immediate recognition of cardiac arrest and calling 9-1-1 is important. He said authorities now emphasize using chest compression alone as a way to help revive patients.

Sposeto said last year Des Moines had 151 cardic arrest calls, of that 41 of those cases were dropped at the hospital with a pulse, having been revived. ”

“That doesn’t mean all those patients walk out of the hospital,” said Sposeto.

Nationally, 25 percent of cardiac arrest patients survive cardiac arrest, in Des Moines the average is 34 percent.

O’ Toole said she would advise people to get CPR training.

“It just takes a coupe of hours on a weekend, or after work,” said O’Toole. “Heart disease is a really common thing, early recognition of the symptoms and activating the emergency response system is crucial.”

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