Darlene Lee Rich, RN
A gentleman and his wife came to voluntarily donate a unit of blood. Upon his assessment, I noted that his pulse was below 50 which is the cutoff range for donors unless they have a routine exercise program. This gentleman was in his mid 70's so I questioned if he routinely worked out with weights or had a walking program. His answer was no. I rechecked his pulse manually and it was only 48 with a regular irregularity. He had no previous history of heart problems or any other medical problems and stated that he felt fine. I explained to him that it was extremely important to follow up with his family doctor the next morning and to allow his wife to drive him to the appointment. I gave him a record of his vital signs along with my name and phone number should his physician have any questions. He and his wife thanked me and promised me that they would follow up with their family physician.
About 3 weeks later, I received a phone call from a person whose name I did not recognize but who asked specifically for me. He started the conversation with "Thank you for saving my life; I am at home, recovering from a triple bypass surgery." The gentleman who I had shared my concern with was calling me. He had seen his family doctor the next day who immediately sent him to a cardiologist and now you know the rest of the story.