Nurse praises great team who saved a cy­clist’s life

Rotorua Daily Post - - Local News - Ka­tee Shanks

A Whakata¯ne nurse has praised the ac­tions of a great team which came to­gether to save a life at O¯ hope beach on Satur­day.

Brigit Billings was at West End beach on Sun­day af­ter­noon when she heard a crash. She was later told a cy­clist was cir­cling the park when he braked to avoid a re­vers­ing car.

The cy­clist went over his han­dle bars and col­lided with the car.

“I rushed over and, at that stage, he was con­scious and talk­ing with us. I im­me­di­ately asked some­one to call 111 and then re­alised the man’s pulse had stopped and he was turn­ing grey.”

Billings drew on her 20 years of nurs­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and be­gan chest com­pres­sions. “He came around and we put him into the re­cov­ery po­si­tion but he ar­rested again and again he had no pulse.”

CPR was re­sumed by mem­bers of the pub­lic who had come to help, and Billings asked for some­one to col­lect the de­fib­ril­la­tor at the nearby Whakata¯ne Surf Life Sav­ing Club.

“There were a cou­ple of big, burly guys there and they al­ways en­cour­age peo­ple to get a man to carry out chest com­pres­sions sim­ply be­cause, most times, they are stronger.”

When the de­fib­ril­la­tor ar­rived, along with surf club mem­bers com­pet­ing at a car­ni­val at O¯ hope beach, the group had man­aged to get a pulse.

Billings placed the de­fib­ril­la­tor pads on the man’s chest.

“The surf club guys also started ad­min­is­ter­ing oxy­gen and helped with CPR. The oxy­gen def­i­nitely helped bring back some colour.”

Billings said CPR was car­ried out for about 15 min­utes un­til emer­gency ser­vices ar­rived.

“Shortly af­ter I got to the man’s side, an­other nurse, an anaes­thetist tech­ni­cian, a trainee doc­tor and even a den­tist showed up.”

She was par­tic­u­larly pleased with the num­ber of peo­ple who knew CPR.

“The fact that all these peo­ple had taken the time to learn how to save a life, that’s im­pres­sive.”

A Bay of Plenty DHB spokesman said the man was trans­ferred to Mid­dle­more Hos­pi­tal on Sun­day.

Photo / Ka­tee Shanks

Brigit Billings was part of a team which helped re­sus­ci­tate a cy­clist at O¯ hope beach on Satur­day.

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