PRN Ambulance and the crew of George Campbell and Steven De Caro were recently presented with a unique and challenging opportunity by Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center to transport a patient home for hospice care. Though the transport was difficult due to the patient’s quickly declining health as well as the apparent emotional toll the situation took on his family, the compassionate PRN crew drew nothing but praise from all involved, as evidenced by the following letter sent to PRN by a hospital care liaison at Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center:
“I wanted to send an email of praise regarding your crew that came to Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center early this afternoon to help with a VERY emotionally difficult situation. We had a 57-year-old male with End Stage Cardiomyopathy who was given a prognosis of ‘days’ to live. This man’s dying wish was to be on hospice and at home when he took his final breath. Hemodynamically, this man was VERY unstable; [systolic blood pressure] sat in the low 80s ON a LevoPhed infusion.
“When the crew arrived, I met them at the door, as I knew that I needed to speak with them before they met with the patient and family. After a couple-minute briefing, the family started to come out of the room. Your EMT-P, George Campbell, IMMEDIATELY [showed] appropriate command and control of the scene.
“This scene was not an auto accident on the 405 freeway. This scene was an ICU, with a dying man of a mere 57 years of age, grieving family members who wanted nothing more than to see their loved one home, and several hospital staff watching each moment. I watched as EMT-P Campbell and EMT De Caro greeted each family member individually, shook their hands and looked every family member in the eye. The compassion showed was extraordinary. Family was aware that patient could die during transport, but opted to take him home anyway. Before they went into the room, EMT-P Campbell and EMT De Caro ‘huddled’ together as if to create a plan. Well, they did. And their plan was executed flawlessly.
“I expressed my gratitude to both EMT-P Campbell and EMT De Caro and I ask that you do as well. I especially wish to again recognize the leadership demonstrated by EMT-P Campbell. Taking appropriate ‘control’ was an action that should be modeled throughout the EMS agencies. What I was reminded of today is that although these two EMS professionals did not get a ‘call’ to a traumatic accident, they both answered the ‘call’ of a higher kind, one that involves the human spirit.
“Thank you, PRN Ambulance, for sending these two gentlemen to Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center. Your crew showed deep compassion, extraordinary patience, and a profound desire to do ‘whatever it takes.'”