The Phoenix Award

Cardiac arrest is a life-threatening medical emergency that occurs when the heart stops beating. From the ambulance to the hospital, every second counts in saving a patient’s life. This week, Lexington County Public Safety and Lexington Medical Center honored three cardiac arrest survivors with The Phoenix Award at the hospital. The patients and their families also met the care teams who provided treatment for them.

“In order for a patient to survive cardiac arrest in the community, we need a high level of integration and coordination of care. The Phoenix Award allows us to showcase Lexington Medical Center’s valuable partnership with our first responders and Lexington County Public Safety,” said Brent M. Powers, MD, Lexington Medical Center Chief Medical Officer. “It’s also a way to celebrate the stories of our cardiac arrest survivors and introduce them to the people who saved their lives.”

Photo Caption: David Kerr, Lexington County Public Safety Director; Phoenix Award recipients Paul Moore, Mark Chaffin and Alan Courtney; Brent Powers, MD, Lexington Medical Center Chief Medical Officer

During the event, members of Lexington County Public Safety along with clinicians from Lexington Medical Center’s Emergency department, cardiac catheterization lab and critical care unit shared the stories of each patient and how the teams worked together to restore heartbeats and bring the patients back to life. Patients and their families also had the opportunity to tour an ambulance and hospital departments to meet clinicians who played important roles in their care and learn about the technology used to treat them.

With family and care team members standing by their side, Lexington County Public Safety and Lexington Medical Center presented each of the three cardiac arrest survivors with The Phoenix Award. The award is named symbolically for The Phoenix, a mythological bird that died and rose renewed from the ashes.

“The life-saving process is a continuous chain of care,” said Lexington County Public Safety Director David Kerr. “Our public safety teams handle each case with the highest quality of service.”

Lexington County Public Safety is the sole provider of 911 services in Lexington County. Covering 750 square miles, Lexington County 911, Fire Service and EMS work seamlessly as a team to provide for the emergency needs of citizens and visitors.

Cardiac arrest care is just one avenue where continuous training and many hours of hard work have created numerous positive outcomes for those in need. In 2016, Lexington County EMS responded to a total of 16 cardiac arrest calls, including the three patients who will receive The Phoenix Award. Each year, more than 400,000 people experience out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the United States.

According to the American Heart Association, an electrical malfunction in the heart triggers cardiac arrest. With pumping action disrupted, the heart cannot pump blood to the brain, lungs and other organs. Seconds later, a person becomes unresponsive, is not breathing or is gasping. Death can occur within minutes if the patient does not receive treatment. Cardiac arrest can be reversible in some victims if it’s treated within a few minutes. First, call 9-1-1 and start CPR right away. If an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is available, use it as soon as possible.

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