Midwife 'life-saver' 

05/03/2014 00:00 
By the time midwife Rosie Murphy approached the 164 bus stop on Tuesday, February 25 it had already been an unfamiliar morning.
 

Her usual route to work had been disrupted because of a fire at Sutton Train Station and the nearest bus stop was overwhelmed with commuters eager to squeeze on to the next double decker.

Fate – or ‘coincidence’ as Rosie prefers to call it – was about to make her a lifesaver.

“I decided to walk up the road to try to catch a different bus – if it wasn’t for the fire I would never have been at that bus stop. I’ve worked at UCLH (University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) since October and I have never taken that route before,” she recalls.

Rosie was distracted by car which pulled up onto the pavement and as she crossed the road she saw a man lying prostrate on the floor.

“I ran over and there was somebody else trying to feel for a pulse but they couldn’t find it. The man looked blue around his lips and lower jaw.”

Rosie assessed the man and he had stopped breathing. She started CPR (chest compressions) but after more than three minutes there was still no sign of a pulse.

Working with paramedics and the police, Rosie continued to deliver CPR to the man who was also given adrenaline and ‘shocked’ three times. When he was taken away in an ambulance soon after he was breathing again.

“I just went into autopilot,” said Rosie, who is a research midwife in the Fetal Medicine Unit at UCLH on a secondment from Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust.  “When I look back on it now I don’t even remember being out of breath giving CPR for more than three minutes – which is quite hard going.

“I was quite overwhelmed when he regained consciousness – more because of what would have happened if I had forgotten what to do or panicked. It seems so surreal. As a midwife we obviously have that training but generally pregnant women are fit and healthy – we don’t ever expect to have to use it.”

Rosie spoke to the police that evening to be told the man was alive and well.

Does Rosie think it was fate that took her to the bus stop that morning?

“It was more coincidence than fate I think – but it was meant to be.”

Debbie Warner, sister in charge of the Fetal Medicine Unit, said: “We are very proud of Rosie for her quick thinking and action, we are glad her efforts are being acknowledged."

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