Published on April 14, 2015

Parkview Medical Center honors Pueblo CPR Heroes

Parkview Medical Center is proud to host a special ceremony on Tuesday, April 21st at 2 p.m. to recognize a few of Pueblo’s CPR heroes. The ceremony will take place at Parkview Medical Center’s main entrance courtyard on Grand Avenue.
Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP) employee Dennis O’Hanlon was on a routine business trip to the Pueblo Chemical Depot (PCD) on February 9th. He and a colleague, Wendell Savage, were walking out to the parking lot when Dennis started having trouble walking. He assumed it was his sciatic nerve. He and Wendell stopped by a parked truck so Dennis could catch his breath and for the nerve pain to subside. They began walking again, but Dennis collapsed on to his right side, Wendell ran over to check on him and realized something was very wrong. Wendell rubbed Dennis sternum with his knuckles, but he didn’t respond. Dennis was in sudden cardiac arrest. He had no previous history of heart problems.
There was a crowd of people in the parking lot at that time and luckily Tom Hassing, a control room operator for PCAPP, was one of them. Tom previously worked as a firemen/EMT. He started CPR and had someone call for help. The onsite paramedics arrived minutes later with an AED in tow. Defibrillation was done once to shock Dennis’ heart. Tom continued CPR and Dennis regained consciousness in the ambulance on the way to Parkview Medical Center, where he was treated for an acute myocardial infarction, otherwise known as a heart attack.
“I remember walking out to the parking lot, and then I woke up in the hospital,” Dennis stated when asked about the event. After a few days in the hospital, Dennis had surgery for a five vessel coronary artery bypass graft surgery. He spent a total of eight days as a patient at Parkview and then returned to his home in Denver where his recovery includes cardiac rehab three days a week. Dennis will be returning to work at the end of the month. He is one of the lucky ones.
According to the American Heart Association, most people who experience cardiac arrest at home, work or in a public place die because they don’t receive immediate CPR from someone at the scene. Luckily, when Dennis collapsed, Tom, the onsite paramedics and other bystanders at the site were willing to provide life saving measures. In addition to Wendell and Tom, those who came to Dennis’ aid included PCAPP and PCD employees Bob Choice, Kyle Hughes, Wendell Savage, Brian Jackson, Mike Whitmore, Wade Willis, Kurt Thompson and Joe Reno. The American Red Cross says one quarter of Americans have been in a similar situation where someone needed CPR. If you were one of them, would you know what to do?
Please help Parkview in recognizing these CPR heroes and learn how you can become one too. Parkview Mobile Nurses have made it their mission in 2015 to ensure everyone in our community knows Hands-Only CPR. They will be giving a very special presentation at this event you won’t want to miss. For additional information on the recognition event, please contact Michelle Peulen at 719.584.4499. For information on Hands-Only CPR, please contact the mobile nurses at 719.584.7319.  

About Parkview Medical Center

Founded in 1923, Parkview Health System in Pueblo, Colorado, offers general acute healthcare and health specialty services. As a private, non-profit organization, Parkview is licensed for 350 beds and provides a full range of healthcare services including a verified Level III Trauma Center along with exceptional comprehensive cardiac and orthopedic care. Parkview Health System is the leader in all service lines in our service area. As a vital healthcare source, Parkview’s service area includes Pueblo County and 14 surrounding counties, which together represent 370,000 total lives.

Parkview Health System is the largest non-government, nonprofit, private sector employer in Pueblo County with approximately 3,000 employees and provides a skilled medical staff of over 370 physicians. The impact of our workforce triggers a strong impact on the community as Parkview’s annual payroll contributes $232 million to the economy.