Bryan Bristow, a certified surgical technologist (CST) assigned to Christiana Hospital’s main OR, says he feels like his OR coworkers saved his life.
On July 2, after experiencing discomfort throughout the day Bristow felt chest pain. “I kind of ignored it thinking it would go away,” he recalls. But after Bristow returned from an errand to the Labor & Delivery unit some distance from the OR, he “felt like something wasn’t right.”
Bristow spoke to OR colleague Angela Thomas, RN, who told Bristow not to ignore the symptoms. Together with Denise Shearon, RN, Thomas led Bristow to the adjacent post-anesthesia care unit where they knew an available EKG monitor was located.
“My heart rhythm was not right and my blood pressure was “off the scale,” Bristow reports. “I went downstairs to the ED where they have a more sophisticated EKG machine,” he says. The EKG showed a right bundle branch block — a defect in his heart’s electrical conduction system.
Doctors admitted Bristow and ordered a stress test. The test results showed three coronary blockages requiring intervention in the cath lab. He was discharged after recovering with the blockages cleared and the reopened arteries supported by stents.
“I feel better than I have in 10 years,” he declares. “It’s amazing what flow of blood will do for you.”
Bristow, who works every weekend and has weekdays off, says he had time to reflect on what happened before returning to work July 16.
“At 42, I thought I might be too young for this kind of deal,” he says. “If it wasn’t for them caring…But I was in the right place at the right time. I feel like they saved my life.”
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