Alumni Magazine

SPR-SUM 2016

The alumni magazine for Franklin Pierce University.

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SPRING 2016 \ PIERCE 37 spinning. Looks easy in the movies, but "this is not a procedure that I have done before because it's my frst fight," she explains. "While on the fight my stomach is in my throat, I feel nauseous, I can't clear my ears, it's overwhelming. But as a professional nurse, I'm forcing myself to calm down." Success and failure have uncertainty in common, and both are triggered by action, but for emergency responders inaction is not an option. "You know you can do this, it'll be fne," Bondurant has already told herself. But the pilot is not taking any chances with her, a newbie, and tells the crew "don't let her outta your sight." One of the crew grabs hold of Bondurant as they exit the aircraft. In minutes they are at the scene. "The woman had extensive chest injuries, clearly asphyxial, bloodshot eyes, all of the typical fndings, very, very sick," Bondurant remembers. Preparing for Trauma at DHART D HART is based out of Dartmouth- Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire and provides both air and ground critical-care trans- portation services to the medical communities of Northern New England. It can transport accident and injury victims to the closest trauma center in any of the fve New England states. Since it's founding in 2001, it has transported more than 24,400 critically ill and injured adult, pediatric, and neonatal patients. It has covered nearly 2.6 million heart-pounding miles …. really fast. A communications center in the hospital constantly monitors emergency assistance calls. After accounting for inclement weather and other potential hazards, it responds according to need. If there is no space for a helicopter to land at an emergency site, or no roads for access by ambulance, creativity comes into play. That could mean a team of hikers carrying an injured com- panion down a mountainside to meet the crew. "We will work with agencies to come up with the best solution possible," Bondurant says. DHART's oldest ambulance, with more than half a million miles on its odometer, carries the same equip- ment as the helicopters, "but provides a little bit bigger space to work," says Bondurant, "and you can pull over if you need to." Of course, the response team serves one and all regardless of age, but newborns require special equipment. At the edge of the enormous DHART maintenance facility, Bondurant uncovers an isolette, a self-contained incubator that provides a controlled heat, humidity, and oxygen environment for newborns. "The main requirements are to keep them secure at low weights and thermoregulated – keep their body temper- ature normal," she says. "If a mother goes into pre-term labor or has some complication, the team often fies in to anticipate that delivery and care for initial resuscita- tion and then either fies the infant home or comes back by ground ambulance." So far, she has not brought any children into the world while at DHART. "We try not to deliver any ba- bies in the aircraft," she smiles. "When you see the size and the limitations, it would be really difcult." To try to limit the element of surprise as much as possible, emergency response teams practice vari- ous scenarios and training extends well beyond the requirements of a typical ER – fying a helicopter, for instance. "In case the pilot becomes incapacitated or Facing page: Bondurant says, "I very much love caring for patients and fying and being on the ambulance and working with the crew." This page: The chief fight nurse spends more time in the ofce now, but intends to keep doing a shift a week with the crew. INSTANTLY, MY HEART RATE WENT TO ABOUT 200 ," BONDURANT RECALLS. "SO GOING OUT THE DOOR, I HAVEN'T MENTALLY PREPARED . WE QUICKLY GATHER THE EQUIPMENT, LOAD THE STRETCHER, CHECK WEATHER, AND OFF WE GO . PREVIOUS SPREAD AND FACING PAGE: COREY HENDRICKSON. THIS PAGE: MICHAEL MATROS.

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