LifeGuard Air Ambulance Saves Vinton Man

Patrick Ferry pictured with Terri Staner (left) and Michelle Kiesey (right), LifeGuard team members.

Patrick Ferry pictured with Terri Staner (left) and Michelle Kiesey (right), LifeGuard team members.

The last thing Patrick Ferry remembers after a full day of deer hunting on November 11 was driving to his Vinton home.

“I remember waking up in the hospital and being told I had been in an accident,” shares Ferry. “I’m not exactly sure what caused the accident – if there was a deer or what. I was told they found me in the middle of a field about 10 yards from my truck. I am so glad someone found me when they did and called for help otherwise I would be dead.”

North Benton Ambulance crews called for UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital LifeGuard Air Ambulance after arriving at the scene and assessing Ferry. LifeGuard has been serving Cedar Rapids and Eastern Iowa with around-the-clock emergency and critical care transportation for 40 years. 

Arriving on the scene

“When we arrived on the scene Patrick was in the back of an ambulance receiving treatment,” recalls Terri Staner, LifeGuard flight paramedic. “His blood pressure was really low. He told the ambulance crew he couldn’t feel anything from his waist down. He was in bad shape. We had great teamwork at the scene with the ambulance crew and one of the things we did pretty quickly was give him TXA.”

“Tranexamic acid or TXA is a medication used to treat and prevent further blood loss from major trauma,” explains Dr. Josh Pruitt, St. Luke’s LifeGuard Air Ambulance medical director and ER physician. “Most TXA use and information comes to us from the military. This drug shows decreased mortality once it’s given within the first hour of a trauma to a patient experiencing blood loss. Additionally LifeGuard is the first and only air ambulance in Eastern Iowa that can give blood to patients. UnityPoint Health has been a leader in these areas of caring for trauma patients. These items save lives.”

Stabilizing trauma

“I remember we were getting ready to secure his airway and he lost his pulse,” shares Michelle Kiesey, St. Luke’s LifeGuard Air Ambulance flight nurse. “The team from North Benton Ambulance, Terri and myself were performing CPR, giving Patrick epinephrine and TXA. He was really sick. We threw everything at him we could. There are so many things happening during a trauma like his and you want to give every patient the best shot you can.”

“In trauma the first 10 minutes is critical,” says Cathy Ross Garron, LifeGuard Air Ambulance program manager. “We work to educate the community on the importance of stopping the bleed if they arrive at a scene before first responders. It can save someone’s life. The next important factor is what is done in the first hour after a trauma. Getting patients those life-saving medicines, providing blood and plasma during that critical window - that’s where we have the most impact and change outcomes.”
Ferry had a broken neck and sustained a C5 and C6 spinal cord injury, he had a broken rib and punctured a lung. He had an operation on his neck and received extensive physical and occupational therapy at St. Luke’s Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 

“They saved my life that night,” says Ferry. “They all took very good care of me. From the ambulance and LifeGuard crew that saved my life, to St. Luke’s Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation team that helped me gain a lot of strength. The staff at St. Luke’s took good care of me and helped me get through a lot. It has been eye-opening for me to realize how close I came to death and I am so glad LifeGuard came to my aid.”

When you have a medical emergency every minute counts. Call 911 and tell first responders to take you to St. Luke's.  Our Emergency Room is open 24/7. We offer the most experienced hospital ER team in Cedar Rapids, who are specially trained to respond rapidly, appropriately and efficiently to any health care emergency. 

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