| Cardiac arrest patient gets second chance at life From Spotlight on Health - Spring 2011
Bob and Mary Kempenich
Dec. 5, 2005, was a day like any other for Bob Kempenich, then 52, of Little Falls. After shoveling snow at St. Cloud’s eastside SuperAmerica where he worked, he went inside and collapsed.
“Thank goodness there were people right there who knew CPR,” Bob said, blessing two customers. “They saved my life.”
Two police officers responded within five minutes of the 911 call. They used an automated external defibrillator (AED) before Gold Cross ambulance transported Bob to St. Cloud Hospital. Comatose and unresponsive upon arrival, he was stabilized and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.
The first patient to be treated at St. Cloud Hospital with therapeutic hypothermia, Bob’s body temperature was cooled to about 92 degrees for 24 hours to minimize brain damage and then gradually re-warmed.
Bob recalls seeing a bright light and greeting his departed father and son. Then he remembers being brought back and seeing the look on his wife, Mary’s, face. “When he gave me a thumbs-up, I knew he was going to be OK,” she said.
With an internal defibrillator implanted in his chest, Bob was discharged from the hospital just eight days after his cardiac arrest and was back to work within four weeks.
“I know that without the CPR, use of an AED and therapeutic hypothermia that I would probably not be here — at least not in the capacity that I am,” Bob said. “I will be forever grateful to all who helped me and the care that I received at St. Cloud Hospital.”
View a video of Bob's story
Capital campaign expands the ICU
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” The words of the ancient philosopher, Aristotle, are the hallmark of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at St. Cloud Hospital where each day we strive to provide excellent, high-quality care to patients and their families. The team includes nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, social workers, dietitians and chaplains who are committed to improving patient care using evidence-based practice. Efforts by the multidisciplinary ICU team have reduced mortality, length of stay and costs.
Gifts to the Caring for Generations Campaign will:
- Improve comfort, recovery times and outcomes through technology upgrades;
- Provide greater standardization of ICU services and more room for patients, staff and family;
- Relocate the ICU closer to surgery for increased efficiency;
- Enhance the Surgical Progressive Care Unit to eliminate the need to transport patients down busy hallways; and
- Allow us to continue to treat complex patients from referring hospitals
Since funding a sepsis, or bloodstream infection program in 2004, St. Cloud Hospital’s ICU has decreased sepsis mortality by 35 percent — saving more than 125 lives and $2 million.