Thanks to the fast response by Salem VA Medical Center’s nurses, social worker, contracting officer, and a pharmacy intern, a 14-year-old boy received the emergency medical treatment he urgently needed after a fall while hiking.
On March 25, staff members Renee Belliveau, Tammy Angell, Katelyn Creedon, Becca Cantrell, Patrick Stultz and Sung Lee were hiking at Devils Marble Yard in Rockbridge County, Virginia, when they encountered two young boys playing on a nearby ledge. They witnessed one of the boys slip and fall 15 to 20 feet off the ledge.
Tammy Angell, a nurse in the Ear Nose & Throat clinic was first on the scene and went to the aid of the boy and instructed him not to move so she could assess the extent of his injuries. The boy complained of lower back pain, had abrasions on his arms, a nosebleed and a hematoma forming on his left forehead. He was able to move all four extremities but was told of the importance of not moving to maintain cervical alignment in the event of a possible cervical fracture. Angell kept the boy calm and provided reassurance while her daughter, a student at James Madison University, and another student from Liberty University called emergency medical services (EMS) for help.
Another nurse, Renee Belliveau from the emergency department, arrived to offer assistance keeping the boy still and performed neurological checks every 15 minutes to report to EMS upon arrival.
Katelyn Creedon, a social worker in acute medical surgery, and Sung Lee, pharmacy resident intern, provided assistance in keeping the boy calm.
Becca Cantrell, clinical nurse leader in acute medical surgery, and Patrick Stultz, contracting officer, were able to prevent additional onlookers from interfering while waiting for EMS to arrive. For the next two hours, the VA employees stayed with the boy until EMS arrived on scene.
When EMS did arrive, the VA staff helped the team, placing the injured teenager in a c-collar, transferring him to a backboard, starting an IV and moving himinto a basket that EMS used to carry him down the ledge. It took another two hours to get him to an ambulance to be transported to meet a helicopter, which would airlift him to a regional hospital.
Thanks to these employees’ compassion and care for this boy, as well as their quick assessment and action. This is just one example of how these Salem VA Medical Center employees exemplify the I-CARE values — whether they are caring for our nation’s heroes or a young boy in the community.
This story was submitted to VAntage Point by the Salem VA Medical Center.