GP team saved man's life after cardiac arrest in Southmead surgery
MIKE Murphy was in the right place at the right time when his heart stopped.
The 72-year-old was sitting in his GP surgery when he suffered the cardiac arrest and says he owes his life to the medical team who took swift action.
Kate Masters, the GP at Greenway Community Practice who carried out CPR on Mr Murphy, said he was extremely lucky to have been at the surgery when his heart stopped as people who suffer such cardiac arrests out of hospital only have a 20 per cent chance of survival. She said it was down to the work of the whole team from receptionists to the nurses and other doctors.
Mr Murphy was at his Southmead home when he started to suffer chest pains. As the pain worsened, his wife Jean suggested calling for an ambulance but Mr Murphy, who still works part-time in a recycling compound, decided to contact the health centre instead. He was advised to go to the practice for an ECG (electrocardiogram) to check his heart but while he was in the waiting room he suffered the cardiac arrest.
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"The pain got worse, I jerked forward and that was the last thing I remember," he said.
"The next thing I knew I was on the floor with all these people around me, an oxygen mask on my face."
Mr Murphy had fallen to the floor unconscious and Dr Masters carried out CPR on him. Practice nurse Kathy Cook then used the surgery's defibrillator to help re-start his heart. Another member of staff had called for an ambulance and Mr Murphy, having regained consciousness was taken to Bristol Heart Institute. Within an hour he had undergone angioplasty at the hospital to clear the blocked artery in his heart.
Mrs Murphy, 67, said: "They really worked well on him.
"When I walked around the corner and saw him Mike was on the floor having fallen off the chair. There were people all around him. He'd stopped breathing and I thought he was a goner."
His daughter Debbie Piper said: "By the time I got to the hospital, within an hour, it had all been done and he was in bed."
Dr Masters said: "I didn't really think about it at the time, we are all trained to do it and just do."
She said he came back around within 30 seconds of a shock from the defibrillator, which was important because a delay can be the difference between life and death.
Nurse Kathy Cook said: "As a team we got on with it and did what we needed to be done."
It was the first time the team had to put their lifesaving training into practise since moving to the current building in July 2008.
Mr Murphy still bears the bruises and marks from his fall following the cardiac arrest but was keen to return a week later to show his gratitude for the team that saved his life.
He said: "The staff were so organised, everyone knew what they were doing, it was very regimental, and it was the same in the hospital.
"These people saved my life and I owe every one of them a thousand thanks for that."