June 12, 2023

Nurses Save Coworker at Work, Perform CPR For 48 Minutes

Nurses Save Coworker at Work, Perform CPR For 48 Minutes

Image: Litonya Bennett 

Oncology nurses at Ascension Providence Hospital in Detroit are being praised after performing CPR for over 48 minutes on a worker who passed out during a shift on April 26th. She also received seven shocks from the defibrillator. 

Nurse Collapsed at Work

Nurse Litonya Bennett, 55,  was working her normal shift on the oncology floor when she was called to the nurse's station. However, she doesn’t remember making it there. 

Bennett, a mother of three, and grandmother of two earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Detroit Mercy in 2020. After surviving breast cancer in 2015, she was determined to work in oncology or at least a unit that took care of patients with cancer and/or tumors. 

“They were like, ‘Hey, come up front!’” said Litonya Bennett. “They said as I got right up to the nurse’s station, I just collapsed.”

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Coworkers Perform CPR For 48 Minutes 

Her coworkers quickly called a code and jumped into action. They immediately found her unresponsive, with no pulse or breath sounds. They quickly started performing high-quality CPR for 48 minutes. As most nurses and healthcare workers can attest, 48 minutes is an extremely long time to perform CPR on an individual. The more and more time that goes by, the higher the risks associated with long-term complications including cognitive delays. 

“When they got to 30 minutes of CPR, the doctor said ‘Hey, what do you guys think? What do you want to do? Do you want to call it?’ Everybody was like, ‘no, no,’” said Bennett.

Bennett remained hospitalized for two weeks, spending over a week in the ICU alone after her collapse. Dr. Kristopher George, chairman of cardiothoracic surgery, was called from the OR to help place Bennett on ECMO. 

“ECMO, which is extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. The machine circulates blood outside the body, providing oxygen and removing carbon dioxide,” said George.

An Important Reminder

“I just thank God that it happened here,” said Tyrone Bennett, Litonya’s husband. Since the incident, Bennett has been to several cardiology appointments and each has only been a testament to the quick and successful actions of her coworkers.

“We were at the park yesterday and we were looking at the water. I couldn’t imagine her not being here, but I do know that we believe in God. We believe in the doctors that were here,” Tyrone Bennett said.

Bennett and her coworkers now use the incident as a warning to others hoping that others will be proactive. “It starts with going to your primary care physician and knowing things about your blood pressure, your heart rate, your heart sounds if they hear murmurs, things like that. Getting an EKG there are signs of heart trouble, then following up very carefully with a cardiologist,” George said.

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