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Majors & Degrees

Respiratory professor saves a life

November 18, 2018

Lacy PatnoeThis Thanksgiving, Lacy Patnoe is thankful for a fortunate visit to a coffee shop where she saved a man’s life last August.

Patnoe, a Dakota State University assistant professor of respiratory care and site coordinator, assisted in resuscitating Michael Schmidt at Revel Coffee House in Rapid City, S.D.

Patnoe was having coffee with friends when she saw a man who looked like he was feeling faint. She began walking toward him to check on him, but he collapsed before she reached him.

Patnoe asked if the man was ok; she received no response and checked for a pulse, but found none. Patnoe was assisted by a retired nurse anesthesiologist, Pat Roseland.

“I yelled for help, another man (Roseland) and I started CPR and someone called 911,” she said. “We continued resuscitation efforts until the ambulance arrived. Michael Schmidt was revived and made a full recovery.”

While this was the first time Patnoe was involved with resuscitating a person in public, she has been involved in many hospital emergency situations. As a respiratory therapist she is highly trained in CPR.

She was able to use this experience as a teaching moment with DSU respiratory care students by sharing the story to emphasize the importance of the early initiation of CPR.

“There have been many studies done regarding bystander CPR, starting chest compressions as soon as the heart stops,” she said. “This improves circulation to the brain and survival rates.”

Patnoe is grateful she was in the right place at the right time to help save a life, but feels fellow respiratory therapists would do the same. “It is in our nature to serve the public in any way possible and make an impact in our communities,” she added.