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11-17-07, 06:32 PM #1
Veteran paramedic suffers ER heart attack, then heeds his own advice
I've known Doug for just over 5 years. He is, hands-down, the *best* paramedic I've ever worked with. He's a really personable guy that puts the patients at ease. He's also done computer upgrading work for some of my co-workers over the years and I always shoot the shit with him when I get a chance.
For 31 years, Doug Thompson has saved lives. But never once in those years, did the Allina Medical Paramedic need others to save his life. That is, until this week.
On Wednesday afternoon, Doug was sitting in the emergency room of Abbott Northwestern Hospital when he noticed the tell-tale signs, starting with jaw pain.
"Then I started to get tightness across my chest, then I knew that something was actually beginning to happen," he said.
But despite years of counseling others about heeding the signs of a heart attack, Doug didn't follow his own advice.
"I did what practically everybody else does, I started to deny the symptoms," he said.
But then, he said, he had a change of heart.
"I walked about 10 feet and thought you idiot you're in the emergency room of the best cardiac hospital in the planet," he said.
It was a decision that doctors say didn't come a moment too soon.
"Doug's case was as critical or could have become as critical as it gets," said Dr. Durand Burns, a Cardiologist at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis Heart Institute.
"For the types of symptoms that Doug had, which were fairly typical for a heart attack, a person may wait half an hour to see if it goes away," Burns said.
In Doug's case, just 44 minutes after he checked himself in, doctors removed the clot and inserted a life-saving stent.
"According to the folks here, that's a record, that's fast," he said.
And now, this medical veteran wants to save even more lives, not just when he's back on the job, but with his story.
"I'm just a fortunate, very thankful guy," he said.
Thompson specifically hopes his story will help others heed the signs of a heart attack and get medical care immediately if it happens.
We're coming up on that time of year when heart attacks spike. Researchers say stress and overindulgence during the holidays contribute to a growing number of heart attacks. They say people are also more likely to delay seeking medical care during the busy time.
Doctors say especially beware the common signs, including persistent discomfort, chest, jaw, arm and shoulder pains and persistent sweating. They urge people who are experiencing those symptoms to seek medical attention immediately.The views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.
11-17-07, 06:52 PM #2
Wow, great story. Good luck to him on the recovery!"Like" us on facebook! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Offic...93147194083228
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11-17-07, 07:07 PM #31*girl Guest
So glad he is okay! He's right though, us medical personnel don't follow our own advice. Everyone stay safe during the holidays!
11-17-07, 09:05 PM #4
weird to tell later though i bet..."so what did you do today?"
"oh, i was working, had a quick heart attack, got surgery within an hour and i was good to go!"
glad he was in the right place at the right time, and didn't deny his symptoms!
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