SINGAPORE: A man who suffered a stroke while driving could have met a fatal end if not for quick intervention by emergency personnel from the nearby Farrer Park Hospital, said the doctor and nurses involved on Wednesday (May 31).
Staff nurse Steve Mocsoy, 36, had knocked off work last Monday when he chanced upon the 50-something man who had crashed his car after a stroke at the wheel.
"I was calm, but I also observed something was amiss, so I activated Code Pink," said Mr Mocsoy, referring to the hospital's protocol for emergencies in or near the complex.
The stroke victim was a Grab driver ferrying a female passenger, who had no idea what to do, said Mr Mocsoy, who has 11 years of experience in nursing.
Six of his colleagues who were on the Code Pink shift rushed down to the scene within five minutes, lugging an array of hefty medical equipment.
They found the driver stuck in the car as his door was jammed against the railing, and he was foaming at the mouth and vomiting.
"His airway was not secure - I could already hear his tongue falling back into his throat," said head nurse Badli Shah, 53.
"Every minute that passes, there is a lower percentage chance of recovery. Within five to six minutes of (there being) no circulation, even if the patient survives, he will be brain dead."
Doctors and nurses helped keep his airway clear and monitor his heart rate until he could be extricated from the car by Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers and taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH).
TTSH could not provide an update on the stroke victim's medical condition.
But stories of the Farrer Park Hospital team's heroics have attracted widespread plaudits online, with Channel NewsAsia's Facebook post alone generating more than a thousand shares.
Dr Wong Ju Ming, 41, said this was "unexpected" but "just another day at work" for his emergency team.
Staff had practiced and rehearsed different Code Pink scenarios throughout the year - with three exercises in the week of the incident itself - and it all fell into place when an actual emergency occurred, said Dr Wong.
He chose instead to thank Home Team personnel - namely the police, who controlled the crowd and secured the area, as well as SCDF, for extricating the driver and taking him to the nearest public hospital as per standard procedure.