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November 30, 2010
UK medics hailed heroes for keeping patient alive
South Wales EchoCARDIFF, Wales — Paramedics who kept a 27-year-old heart patient alive while equipment repeatedly failed on a 145-mile emergency dash have been hailed heroes.
Paul Burrows, Jonathan Aberg and Martyn Letton, from Cardiff's Blackweir Ambulance Station, received a Welsh Ambulance Service team award for their work.
The trio took the critically-ill patient from the University Hospital of Wales' intensive care unit in Cardiff to Harefield Hospital, in Middlesex, for an urgent assessment. The man was being kept alive with a heart pump but the battery failed as he was loaded into the ambulance.
It was decided to take two balloon pumps on the journey, one of which would follow in a rapid response vehicle.
While en route with a police escort, the first pump failed and they had to change over in a lay by in Swindon.
When the patient's blood pressure plummeted and they were unable to find a suitable A&E unit nearby, they continued on to Harefield - only to find their route closed.
They eventually made it to the Middlesex Hospital.
The patient was alive but he had to be resuscitated twice in intensive care.
Paul said: "It was an incredibly stressful journey for the patient and for ourselves."
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