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Schedule switch puts PCA with the right skills in the right place at the right time


Jade Saliba, a patient care associate on NP 15, recently put her CPR training to use to help save the life of a man who collapsed at her gym.

Jade Saliba was supposed to work on May 31, but she had switched days with another patient care associate. 

In hindsight, Saliba believes she was meant to be at the gym that morning instead of on Yale New Haven Hospital’s Surgical Oncology unit. She was finishing a run on the treadmill when she saw a crowd gathered around a man who had fallen and hit his head. One look told Saliba the fall wasn’t what caused the man to lose consciousness. 
“His face was bluish purple,” she said. “It was very scary.”
As a PCA and emergency medical technician, Saliba is trained and certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, so she knew what to do. Finding no pulse, she quickly began CPR on the man, and directed others at the gym to call 911 and grab the automatic external defibrillator (AED). 
“When I first saw him, I thought, ‘This is it. I don’t know if there’s anything we can do for him,’” Saliba said. “But during the first interval of compressions, I saw color return to his face.” 
A doctor who also happened to be at the gym that day took over CPR while Saliba attached the AED pads. Ultimately, Saliba and the doctor performed CPR for five minutes and administered two AED shocks. Paramedics arrived and administered a third shock before the man regained consciousness and was transported to the hospital. At the gym, Saliba gave the man’s wife a hug and said, “’I’m glad we were here and able to help.’”
The wife later called Saliba and said her husband had four stents placed and was in the intensive care unit. He was eventually discharged to recover at home.  
Despite her training and profession, Saliba had never performed CPR on a real person before. She said she was a little nervous at first, but it quickly became “second nature,” and she remembered coaching she’d received during a mock code that was hosted on her unit the week before.
“It was very rewarding to be able to put my practice to a purpose outside the hospital,” Saliba said. “How special, that God placed me in that spot at that time.”