Chicago Tribune – BluePearl staff comes to aid of man who collapsed at animal hospital

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Veterinarian Grace Brannon said her training in emergency care for four-legged patients kicked in big time this week when she came to the aid of a man who collapsed in the lobby of the Northfield animal clinic where she works.

Monday was a typical day at the BluePearl Veterinary Partners clinic until a man who had brought in his dog complained of dizziness before collapsing and losing consciousness in the lobby.
“It was definitely a little bit of a change,” Brannon said Friday. “You kind of do the same thing. We’re trained to start doing chest compressions if you can’t feel a pulse. You do less harm by starting it than the harm you do if you don’t start soon enough and the patient’s really dead.”

Brannon started CPR and began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the man. The staff gave him oxygen, placed ice packs around his body and cooled him with a wet washcloth. They also hooked him up to a machine designed to monitor animals’ vital signs and used it to measure the man’s blood oxygen levels.

“We train for situations like this,” said Brannon. “Obviously, we don’t think it’s going to be a human that it happens with. When something happens, you have to be ready for it. In a moment of panic, it’s second nature.”

The man, a 59-year-old North Shore resident, regained consciousness while he was at the clinic. He was taken by ambulance to Glenbrook Hospital and released after several hours.

The man asked not to be identified because of privacy concerns but said he was grateful to the clinic’s staff members for all they did.

“I couldn’t have picked a better place,” he said. “These are all medically trained people.”
The news wasn’t all good for the man and his family, though. Their beloved 12-year-old golden retriever, Nick, had to be euthanized at the clinic after a long illness.

“We had to make this tough decision,” the man said. “It was really a horrendous day for all of us.”