Allen S Weiss, M.D.
President & CEO NCH Healthcare System
Easter weekend was a significant one for teamwork at NCH, particularly for our extraordinary blood bank colleagues, who are usually in the background but whose contributions should never be underestimated. I’ll let an email from Danielle Byers, RN, BSN, speak for what happened:
“On Saturday in the operating room, we received an emergency call from Obstetrics about a patient delivered two hours prior, who was hemorrhaging. She needed to come to the operating room for what Dr. Emily Clements scheduled as a D and C for control of bleeding. Dr. Tom Cook and an anesthesia student went to assist in transfer. While waiting, I was called again by Cathy Stevens, RN, from OB stating the patient was crashing and on her way. When she arrived, she was not only accompanied by anesthesia but also Melody Bacon and Chris Raphael and one or two nurses from OB. It was a crazy situation.
“The patient was transferred to the operating room table at which time the anesthesia students along with Dr. Cook worked feverishly to resuscitate the patient with fluid volume and trendelenberg position. Dr. Clements decided that an abdominal hysterectomy would be necessary and that the D and C was no longer an option.
“Our people were amazing. Melody, Chris and the nurses from OB were vital in getting the patient to the OR with amazing speed. The young anesthesia students — Samantha Thomas, Erin Wilson and Nathan Moos — along with the expertise of Dr. Cook were able to resuscitate the patient with 17 units of blood products and fluids. The students did an awesome job and should be very proud of themselves. Wes Whitright, CRNA, also came to assist the anesthesia team and was imperative to this patient’s survival. Thank you to all of them.
“The situation was dire at best, and I was so fortunate to have the help of endo-nurses Carolyn Davie, RN, and Janet Tipper, RN. They came to help of their own accord and aided in the checking of blood products, running for everything and anything that needed to be done to help. My scrub was Yves Desruisseaux, ST, who was phenomenal in her knowledge and skill in providing the physicians with what they needed to care for this patient. In all my years of OR experience, I have come to realize that the caliber of a scrub tech is imperative to the outcome of a procedure. Yves is an A+ surgical technician. Josh Weeks from SPD also made himself available for anything we needed. Finally, Mariesa Menghini, blood bank lab assistant, performedher job with amazing speed and skill. She provided the numerous units of blood products in minimal time. She even delivered them when necessary, was patient and always professional.
“The bottom line is that all those involved in the care of this new mother worked as a team to provide care that saved this woman’s life. As life threatening a situation as this was, I am proud to be part of a team that was able to provide Level I trauma care to a very ill patient, which resulted in a positive outcome.”
Danielle’s is an amazing story of incredible teamwork, but since last week was Laboratory Appreciation Week, let me focus on the contributions of our laboratory technologist and blood bank specialist Jim McGrady along with Mariesa Menghini, who supplied 17 units of blood products — fresh frozen, packed cells, cryoprecipitate — all within an astounding 30 minutes. Both of our campus labs have this capability, as they are supplied by the Community Blood Center, an affiliate of the NCH Healthcare System, which supplies every hospital in Collier County with life-saving blood products.
When a donor gives the gift of life at any of the Community Blood Center locations in Naples, Bonita Springs or on the blue and white Community Blood Center bloodmobiles, he or she is helping to ensure adequate levels of blood products are available in area hospitals and ready for local patients, friends or family who suddenly need them. All of the blood collected here, stays here, and thanks to our blood donors and all of our dedicated NCH colleagues, these kinds of stories are — thankfully more often than not — the heroic and happy result.
In September 2006, Dr. Allen Weiss was appointed president and CEO of the NCH Healthcare System, a 715-bed, two-hospital integrated health care system. NCH is one of only twenty hospitals in the country affiliated with Mayo Clinic, and has been named three times by “U. S. News and World Report” as best in the region and among the 50 best cardiovascular programs according to Truven. He is a graduate of Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and completed his training at both the New York Presbyterian Hospital and Hospital for Special Surgery of Cornell University. He also had a solo practice in Rheumatology, Internal Medicine and Geriatrics for 23 years, and is board certified in all three specialties. He is recognized both as a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a Fellow of the American College of Rheumatology. His wife, Dr. Marla Weiss, is a writer and educator, and they have two daughters who are physicians.