For emergency nurse Leonardo Bucci, acting quickly is part of the job. He demonstrated this when he was off duty, resuscitating a man in the tram.
“I was listening to music and in a bit of a daydream when it happened, on my way to see friends at a birthday party. All of a sudden, at the front of the carriage, a group of people was gathered around an elderly man who wasn’t moving. He was slumped over in his seat. I acted immediately. I laid him down on the floor with help from the other passengers and then checked if he was breathing. To sum things up, I took charge of the situation. That’s important when performing first aid; you always need someone who is in control until the paramedics arrive. It involves simple tasks, such as asking whether someone has called an ambulance. And one was already on the way.
I didn’t find out what caused the man to collapse, but I’m certain the heat played a role – it was a humid summer’s day, after all. I was in the middle of my nursing training at the time, so I knew what to do. It’s important to act quickly. Always stay alert when you’re out and about and don’t hesitate to approach people if you get the sense that something isn’t right with them. Some time ago, I escorted an elderly woman home. I’d noticed her as she seemed confused. I could tell she was helpless when I spoke to her. The tag on her walking frame had the address of her nursing home on it. The staff members there were extremely relieved when we arrived. The man in the tram regained consciousness after 30 seconds. I had resuscitated him. I was just doing my job – and yet, there was something special about saving him that day.”
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