Erlanger’s LIFE FORCE air medical team was recognized at the annual Tennessee Emergency Medical Services for Children “Star of Life” Awards Ceremony in Nashville. This yearly event honors the accomplishments of EMS personnel throughout the state who have provided “exemplary life-saving care to both adults and children.” Erlanger’s LIFE FORCE team won both the Region 3 and State award for their efforts in saving the lives of a five year old Cleveland boy who choked on a hot dog and an eight year old Sparta boy who almost lost his life in a boating accident last year.
The detailed stories are below.
Region 3 “Star of Life” Award to LIFE FORCE crew
On May 14, 2015, five-year-old Granite Moseley was enjoying a hot dog at home when he suddenly began choking. He went to his father, who immediately attempted the Heimlich maneuver, then called 911. Granite began turning blue, stopped breathing and became unresponsive. Back blows and the Heimlich were not successful. Bradley County 911 ECD advised Granite’s father to start CPR.
When Bradley County EMS arrived on scene, they were met by firefighters from Bradley County Fire Engine 10 who brought the child out to meet them. Bradley County EMS quickly evaluated Granite and began assisted ventilations, which met great resistance due to the obstruction in the airway. Attempts to remove the hot dog were made, but they could only get small pieces. Enough of the hot dog was removed to enable passing of air and Granite was then moved to the ambulance where he coughed and moved a majority of the hotdog into the oral airway where Bradley County EMS was able to remove it and continue ventilations. Granite was then intubated and rushed to Tennova Hospital where he was stabilized and LIFE FORCE was requested to transfer Granite to Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.
After arriving at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, Granite was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and began moving and waking up. After treatment at Children’s, he was discharged and has made a complete recovery. Today, Granite is a happy and healthy kindergartener.
Direct from the award nomination: “This was a miraculous call… that involves all of the right pieces needed to improve the possibilities of a positive outcome.
“This type of response is ideal and fell right into place with Charleston Police Department, Bradley County Sheriff’s Department, Bradley County Fire and Rescue, and of course, Bradley County, EMS. This is a prime example of how well an incident can be mitigated successfully when emergencies work together in a collaborative effort. To top it all off was the fact that we have access to one of the best trauma services in the region that responded and flew the patient to Children’s Hospital.”
LIFE FORCE crew honored with Region 3 Award:
Glenn Susskind, former LIFE FORCE Flight Paramedic
Tina Biggs, LIFE FORCE Flight Nurse
Brad Simmons, LIFE FORCE pilot
Andy Lopez, Communicator in LIFE FORCE Flight Operations (EROC)
State of Tennessee “Star of Life” Award to LIFE FORCE
Last June, eight year-old Aiden Brown, his family, and friends were on Center Hill Lakeenjoying their new pontoon boat. Aiden was sitting near the front of the boat and his mother, Julie, was sitting near the back of the boat watching Aiden. Julie turned to look at the tube that was being pulled behind the boat with someone on it. When she looked back for Aiden, he was gone.
They immediately shut down the engine and Aiden resurfaced about 10 feet behind the boat. His life vest was shredded and he was bleeding badly. Aiden’s father, Troy, dove in as the person on the tube began to swim to Aiden, too. They pulled him onto the boat and 911 was called. Fortunately the call was able to get out as most of the lake has bad reception.
Aiden’s face, head, and neck had been cut badly by the rotor on the boat. Along with lacerations to his face, he had an open wound that extended across his neck to his bottom lip, and an 8-inch laceration across his chest that exposed his heart and lungs. They used towels to apply pressure and do all they could to control the bleeding while driving as fast as they could to the closest marina.
When Dekalb County 911 received the call, they not only dispatched Dekalb County EMS to the marina, they also put LIFE FORCE 2 in Sparta on standby. As the family pulled into the marina, the ambulance was backing in. Troy carried Aiden to the ambulance and he and theEMS crew worked to control the bleeding while rushing to the nearest landing zone. LIFE FORCE 2 had just landed in the grassy area as the ambulance pulled up.
The LIFE FORCE 2 crew joined the EMS crew in working to stabilize Aiden. Within 26 minutes, his bleeding and airway were controlled, he was placed on a ventilator, under anesthesia, given pain medication and loaded into the back of the aircraft all through the efforts of Aiden’s dad, Dekalb County EMS, and LIFE FORCE.
During the 25-minute flight to Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, Aiden received warmed blood and plasma and his vital signs and color began to improve. Once arriving at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, Aiden went straight into the children’s trauma unit and was immediately evaluated by Pediatric Trauma Surgeon, Dr. Pete Kelley, and the pediatric trauma team. He was rushed to surgery where they repaired his open chest wounds including the heart, lungs, spleen, liver, and sternum. He was then taken to CT for evaluation of his head, neck, and facial injuries and returned to surgery where those were also repaired. During surgery, Aiden received four additional units of blood products and following surgery, was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit.
The second day after surgery, Aiden was taken off the ventilator, his breathing tube was removed, and he was awake. On day three, he continued to improve and his right side chest drainage tube was removed. The fourth day post surgery, his left side drainage tube was removed and on day five, he started a liquid diet, taking medications by mouth and was moved out of PICU, into a normal room. On day eight, Aiden was discharged and returned home to Sparta with his family.
Aiden’s story is truly a miracle and last December, Aiden was named one of Children’s Hospital’s Miracle Children.
LIFE FORCE crew honored with State award:
Chuck Nabors, LIFE FORCE Pilot
Karen Mulvaney, LIFE FORCE Flight Nurse
Laura Kirk, LIFE FORCE Flight Nurse (in orientation that day) and former Erlanger Trauma Red Shirt
Ray Cadwallader, LIFE FORCE Flight Paramedic and LIFE FORCE 5 Base Manager
Heather Marsh, Communicator in LIFE FORCE Flight Operations (EROC)