Hinchingbrooke health worker springs into action during supermarket visit to save a life

Lifesaver Michelle Turnbull

Lifesaver Michelle Turnbull - Credit: Archant

A healthcare assistant from Hinchingbrooke Hospital turned lifesaver when she swung into action to go to the assistance of a member of staff who had collapsed in a supermarket.

Michelle twice managed to get the woman’s breathing restarted twice when her condition deteriorated as she went to her aid in a “scary” situation at the Wisbech branch of Asda.

The trained first aider, who was more used to working in hospital conditions at Hinchingbrooke than a supermarket, was shopping at the store when she saw that a member of staff had been taken ill and had collapsed.

Michelle quickly realised that the woman had gone into shock and that she was breathing erratically and so she put the patient into the recovery position before telling staff to call for an ambulance.

But before the ambulance crew arrived, the woman took a turn for the worse and stopped breathing twice, forcing Michelle to use her medical skills by performing CPR.

Michelle, who works on the acute trauma and surgical unit at the hospital, said: “As a trained first aider, I recognised her symptoms and administered first aid as best I could without having any medical equipment to hand.

“This meant monitoring her breathing by watching the rise and fall of her chest and manually checking her pulse.”

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She said: “It was scary situation to be in, but instinct and training kicked in and I was able to keep her breathing going until the paramedics arrived.”

The patient was assessed by paramedics at the store before being taken to King’s Lynn hospital where she was treated overnight and was well enough discharged the following day.

Michelle said: “The woman’s partner texted me the next day to let me know she was okay.

“He couldn’t thank me enough for my help and said that my intervention saved her life. I just feel very grateful that I was in the right place at the right time and able to help.”