A Mt Eden Prison nurse went to the aid of a visitor after he had a suspected heart attack.
“At lunchtime on 30 July 2009 a man arrived at Mt Eden to drop off some property for a prisoner. While he was there he experienced strong pain in his chest and was obviously in need of assistance. Custodial staff were able to call over the radio for Health Staff assistance. Within minutes one of our nurses, who has recently undertaken additional training in the area of emergency response, was able to arrive with a colleague to help the man,” says Prison Manager Neville Mark.
“Custodial staff made the man as comfortable as possible and the nurse was able to communicate with the man to establish where and what type of pain he was experiencing. The nurse had custodial staff call an ambulance and checked the man's vital signs including his blood pressure, pulse, respirations and oxygen saturation, vision, grip strength, mental alertness and orientation.
"The unwell man was then administered oxygen and the nurse was able to comprehensively brief ambulance staff on his condition when they arrived,” says Mr Mark.
“The man was transported to hospital and the custodial staff ensured that his vehicle was safe from towing and that the property he was delivering for a prisoner was secure.
“For the ill man it was fortunate that medical professionals were only a radio call away. Providing assistance to someone in medical need is what any member of the community could reasonably be expected to do. But to assess the man, provide oxygen and ensure that his car was safe shows that our staff go beyond the call of duty. We are especially pleased that this nurse was able to put into practice the knowledge gained from his recent training.”
Note to journalist:
Health Services provide primary healthcare to prisoners by employing nurses to staff Health Centres at all prisons. The service they provide is equivalent to what the general population would receive from their family doctor. Health staff also work with District Health Boards to access secondary and tertiary health care for prisoners. The aim is to educate and encourage prisoners to learn more about their health needs and to take responsibility for their own well-being.
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