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DiversityNursing Blog

Nurses Save United Pilot Having Possible Heart Attack Mid-Flight

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Fri, Jan 17, 2014 @ 10:13 AM


Talk about high drama.

In an emergency situation called straight out of a movie, two nurses saved a United Airlines pilot having a possible heart attack mid-flight last month.

Thirty minutes into a flight from Des Moines, Iowa, to Denver on Dec. 30, an intercom announcement requested medical expertise. Linda Alweiss of Camarillo, Calif., and Amy Sorensen of Casper, Wyo., answered the call. Directed to the cockpit, Alweiss told KTLA in Los Angeles that she found the pilot slumped over and mumbling, with an irregular heartbeat.

"He was clearly suffering from a possibly fatal arrhythmia,” she told NBC4 News.

Passengers helped the two women pull the captain into the galley, where the nurses set up a defibrillator and an IV, according to KTLA. In the meantime, the jet was rerouted to Omaha, Neb.

"This is what happens in movies," Sorensen (spelled Sorenson by some outlets) told ABC News. "This isn't what happens in real life."

A co-pilot safely landed the plane in Omaha, where medics were waiting to further treat the pilot, outlets noted. As the women retreated to their seats, passengers cheered the nurses' efforts, the Star-Tribune wrote. The pilot survived.

In a statement released to media United said: “United flight 1637, a Boeing 737 operating between Des Moines and Denver Monday evening, landed safely in Omaha after the captain became ill. United accommodated the customers overnight, and they continued to Denver the next day.”

A United spokeswoman told The Huffington Post that it was not releasing anymore information on the pilot. She added that she wanted everyone to know "the passengers weren't in any danger."

Sorensen, for one, said her actions weren't really heroic.

"I really don't see myself as a hero," she told ABC News. "I did what I know for a patient that needed it."

Source: Huffington Post 

Topics: save life, United Airlines, heart attack, nurse, pilot

'Heroic effort' from nurse revives girl at Kauffman Stadium

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Mon, Jun 03, 2013 @ 10:39 AM


The camera focused on another fan moving to the “Dance Cam” in the bottom of the first inning of the Royals’ home game Thursday against the Angels.

But the fan, a 14-year-old girl sitting in Section 430, collapsed just after she was shown on Kauffman Stadium’s video board.

Nearby was a member of the Royals K-Crew, a group of team employees who entertain fans by tossing out T-shirts and prizes. But she wasn’t just any team employee. She’s also a registered nurse who works at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

According to Toby Cook, the Royals’ vice president for community affairs, the nurse arrived moments after the collapse, provided CPR and helped revive the girl as the stadium’s medical personnel arrived.

The girl was taken to Children’s Mercy, which has not released her name or condition. The Royals didn’t disclose the name of the nurse, Sam Sapenaro, 26, of Roeland Park, but Cook called her actions “heroic.”

Sapenaro didn’t want to comment when contacted by The Star.

“To say that it was fortunate that this young woman from the K-Crew was a registered nurse is an understatement,” Cook said. “She was there, she knew what to do.

“It was a heroic effort on her part to be able to respond that way and have her medical training kick in, going from entertaining fans one second to providing potential life-saving care to somebody the next.”

Cook said the girl attended the game with friends, and that her parents were contacted immediately. She was “breathing, verbal and awake,” upon leaving the stadium, Cook said.

Working on the K-Crew is often a second job, Cook said. In this instance, a fan was fortunate that nursing was Sapenaro’s other job.

“She went from K-Crew to nurse mode and stayed that way right up until the point that we transported the patient,” Cook said.


Topics: save life, nurse, Kansas City, Royals, Sam Sapenaro, Kauffman Stadium

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