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Revolutionary drug saves woman’s life by paralysing her

PUBLISHED: 11:28 14 September 2018 | UPDATED: 11:28 14 September 2018

At the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Ambulance Station are back row (from left) Amanda Sweeney, Senior Paramedic Catherine Scott-Davies, Senior EMP Paul Barnard, NARS-East Critical Care Paramedics Ryan Warwick & Carl Smith. At the front are Roseanna & Danny Flack with Paramedic Laura Brown. Picture: Ian Burt

At the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Ambulance Station are back row (from left) Amanda Sweeney, Senior Paramedic Catherine Scott-Davies, Senior EMP Paul Barnard, NARS-East Critical Care Paramedics Ryan Warwick & Carl Smith. At the front are Roseanna & Danny Flack with Paramedic Laura Brown. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

A critical care paramedic administered a life-saving drug to a 62-year-old woman, in a new procedure which is being trailled in the region.

On July 19, Roseanna Flack, from King’s Lynn, suffered a major heart attack and needed urgent medical attention.

Time was of the essence but luckily the swift actions of health care professionals ensured a successful outcome.

Speaking of that day, husband Danny Flack, 55, said: “We were in the kitchen, having a conversation and the next thing I know she was saying I don’t feel too good, then she went into convulsions.

“Our daughter has epilepsy so I thought she was just having a fit. Straight away I dialled 999; the guys turned up in just six minutes, gave CPR for 17 minutes and got her to the NNUH (Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital) within no time.”

At the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Ambulance Station are (from left) Roseanna & Danny Flack, Amanda Sweeney, Senior Paramedic Catherine Scott-Davies, Paramedic Laura Brown, Senior EMP Paul Barnard, NARS-East Critical Care Paramedics Ryan Warwick & Carl Smith. Picture: Ian BurtAt the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Ambulance Station are (from left) Roseanna & Danny Flack, Amanda Sweeney, Senior Paramedic Catherine Scott-Davies, Paramedic Laura Brown, Senior EMP Paul Barnard, NARS-East Critical Care Paramedics Ryan Warwick & Carl Smith. Picture: Ian Burt

Using a LUCAS machine - a device which performs uninterrupted chest compressions - the paramedics sprang into action, making the necessary calls to paramedic Carl Smith at Norfolk Accident Rescue Service (NARS) to administer the drug Rocuronium.

The drug stopped Mrs Flack from breathing and temporarily paralysed her, which enabled the paramedics to take over her breathing and bought them time to get her to the NNUH.

Up until recently, only doctors were allowed to administer the drug but it is being trialled in East Anglia for critical care paramedics in order to save time.

Carl Smith said: “Administering Rocuronium to the patient means we can get them to the correct hospital.

“We have around 90 minutes to get them there, giving the drug to Roseanna meant that we could bypass the QEH (Queen Elizabeth Hospital) and get her straight to the heart attack centre at NNUH.”

To those who saved her, Mrs Flack said: “You are amazing, absolutely amazing, can’t thank them enough. How they do it I don’t know, I don’t think I could do it myself. I really appreciate that I’m still alive.”

Mr Flack added: “They do such a wonderful job, it never gets noticed, there is no real recognition for what they do and that’s why we came here today. We’ve got a great deal of gratitude to everyone who helped Roseanna.

“While they were in the kitchen seeing to my wife I went into the living room said a prayer or two or three and thankfully they were answered.”

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