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Cardiac Arrest Victim Alive Thanks to Off-Duty Nurse

Cardiac Arrest Victim Alive Thanks to Off-Duty Nurse

While attending a Bengals game in Cincinnati, Stacie Oxman (center) an intensive care nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital, went into action and used a portable defibrillator to revive a woman who had gone into cardiac arrest. (Chris Stewart/Staff photo)

Dayton Daily News

November 20, 2008

Hamilton-area grandmother Wanda Gruenschlaeger and Dayton intensive care unit nurse Stacie Oxman merely intended to enjoy a Bengals game when they arrived at Paul Brown Stadium early Sunday afternoon, Nov. 16.

Fate had other plans for the two women, who started the day as strangers.

Oxman stepped out of her bathroom stall around 12:15 p.m. when she saw a woman lying on the ground, her daughter leaning over her and yelling, “Mom! MOM! Please, Mom!” and, “Can somebody please help my Mom!”

“I’m a nurse,” Oxman said calmly as she began to administer CPR.

Her experience as an ICU nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital taught Oxman to recognize the signs of cardiac arrest. Gruenschlaeger had no pulse. Her head tilted back as she struggled to breathe. Her heart had gone into an irregular rhythm.

“Get me a defibrillator!” Oxman called out.

Gruenschlaeger’s stepdaughter, Connie Frost of Hamilton, felt reassured by her authoritative manner.

“I was scared to death,” Oxman said. “This is what I do for a living, but normally I have monitors and equipment and a whole team of people helping me. Here I was all alone with only my skills and my gut instincts.”

Minutes later, Cincinnati Police Sgt. Eric Franz arrived on the scene and radioed for a defibrillator, which is used to restore the heart to its normal rhythm after cardiac arrest.

“Stacie was clearly well-trained and clearly in command of the situation,” Franz recalled. “By doing CPR Stacie kept the patient’s heart moving until we were able to shock the heart with the defibrillator. There’s no doubt in my mind that the lady would be dead by now if Stacie hadn’t been there.”

Frost said she remembers thinking, “This woman really cares. She doesn’t want to fail.”

The first time, the patient didn’t respond to the defibrillator, so Oxman continued CPR. She shocked her again, praying hard — and this time, Gruenschlaeger started breathing. She fought the medics when they tried to force oxygen into her lungs.

“That’s when I started to cry,” Oxman said. “That’s when I knew she would make it.”

Frost didn’t speak to Oxman directly until her mother was loaded onto the gurney.

“She grabbed my hand and we talked and we cried,” Frost said.

Gruenschlaeger remembers very little of her ordeal: “I just remember washing my hands, and nothing else until they smacked me around in the ambulance.”

Her first conversation with Oxman was emotional.

“You saved my life,” she said. “There’s no other way to say it.”


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  • Me_work_max50

    basiajune

    almost 6 years ago

    104 comments

    WOW is all I can say! It was not this ladies time to go yet and god put that nurse in that bathroom that same minute to help her! I know that nurse must have been so scared even though she knew exactly what to do! This nurse is an angel. A perfect example of a Nurse! Good to hear a good story! I just read previosly about a baby being thrown in the garbage in NJ. So I am happy I read this one!

  • 3cb2197_max50

    nursesourcer

    almost 6 years ago

    108 comments

    That's what nursing is all about! Great job, Stacie!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    almost 6 years ago

    Way to go!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    kaye7

    almost 6 years ago

    854 comments

    Good job

  • Rn_max50

    AbusyRN2go

    almost 6 years ago

    13874 comments

    Now this is what I am talking about!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    k4mmt

    almost 6 years ago

    10 comments

    That's incredible. Great job.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    WeekendWarriorATL

    almost 6 years ago

    62 comments

    Awesome!

  • 1122071358_c3_af_1__max50

    casassy62688

    almost 6 years ago

    290 comments

    Wow, great job! Someone was definately making sure someone was in the right place at the right time!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    almost 6 years ago

    where angels fear to tread, right?

  • Modeling_6_max50

    EvangelisticSistah

    almost 6 years ago

    88 comments

    I love it!!

  • Julie3_max50

    juliern734

    almost 6 years ago

    6616 comments

    What a touching article! Nurses rock!

  • Dsc00377_max50

    angela101287

    almost 6 years ago

    204 comments

    wow!thats all i can say!

  • Mickeymouseclubhouse_240_max50

    kstiltner1

    almost 6 years ago

    7170 comments

    Great.

  • Aaaaa_006_max50

    frumpster65

    almost 6 years ago

    88 comments

    I ditto that ..AWESOME!!!!

  • J0423100_max50

    emtpixie

    almost 6 years ago

    328 comments

    AWESOME!

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