Letters for Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Team effort saves man’s life

Take care of our living veterans •

Control feral chickens • Headlights

Freedom of speech

Team effort saves man’s life

I like happy endings and I wish they came along all the time.

It’s likely that readers who see my name on this letter will guess that it has to do with lifeguards. You are correct. The official county employee name for lifeguard is water safety officer. You are about to learn that that title is too narrow. They can save your life on land also.

A few days ago a very fit man in his 40’s collapsed in an area that happened to be near one of our Hanalei Towers. An alert witness called 911 and the call went out immediately on dispatch to our rescue units. Because our lifeguards are hooked into the 911 system and are indeed one of our rescue units, they were at the man’s side within 120 seconds. The man had no pulse. Bystanders were doing excellent CPR. Our lifeguards — Tyler Hale, Jeff McIntosh, and Daniel DeAnda — immediately hooked the victim up to their Automatic External Defibrillator (AED).

The machine’s message: shock advised. So they juiced up the AED, called out “clear” (to get bystanders away from the victim when the shock is delivered), and hit the shock button. The man … well, he got his pulse back and he woke up.

Firefighters and paramedics arrived a few minutes later and stabilized the scene and proceeded with advanced monitoring and treatment protocols. The man, so I’ve heard, actually lost his pulse one more time enroute to Wilcox ER and he had to be defibrillated again — and again it was successful.

A skillful and rapid assessment in our ER indicated that he needed to get to Honolulu and get his heart evaluated by a cardiac cath team. This took place quickly, the cath showed a blocked blood vessel to the heart, a stent was put into the vessel, and our near-victim should be good to go for another 40+ years.

It took a system that clicks on all cylinders for this happy ending to happen. My congratulations and appreciation go out to everyone involved — lay witnesses, dispatch personnel, lifeguards, firefighters, paramedics, my ER colleagues who were on duty that day (doctor, nurses, clerks), air transport team — and Honolulu specialists.

And, even though I’m a Yale graduate, I have to appreciate Dr. Bernard Lown of Harvard, the man who is credited with developing modern defibrillators in the 1950’s. (Plus he won a Nobel Peace Prize along the way). I’ve been in the ER for 40 years and I still bow my head in awe any time I get to witness or hear about this technology saving someone’s life.

Monty Downs, M.D., Wilcox Hospital ER

Take care of our living veterans

As another Memorial Day comes to a close one can only wonder, do we really care for our Military Veterans for all that they did for us by fighting for our freedom and protecting us from our enemies?

We mark the graves of our dead soldiers and celebrate their life by placing leis on their crosses or placing flowers at their grave sites here in Hawai‘i and around the mainland.

However, our living veterans we seem not to care as much for them as we care for other countries in time of disaster or war.

We are quick to help in rebuilding these countries even though they are or once were our enemies.

Our veterans don’t get as much attention. It takes years before they can receive any kind of help such as medical and psychological.

A lot of them remain homeless around the nation. I for one can easily say that, “I am proud of our young men, our young women, our elders and those who passed on who serve(d) in any of the military forces.” Thank you very much for your services.

Let’s take care of our living veterans before we think of helping other countries.

Howard Tolbe, ‘Ele‘ele

Control feral chickens

I have read with interest the debate between neutering and euthanasia of Hawai‘i’s feral cats.

However, I believe the real question is whether we should have a government program to either neuter or euthanize Kauai’s feral chickens. The feral chicken population is expanding by leaps and bounds and threatens to take over our island.

I am aware that some of our citizens have already begun their own euthanasia program via lead injections. This may be an effective local option, however, on a larger geographic scale something more effective is required.

The county could see if there are any Federal stimulus funds available for such a program. The mayor might even consider adding a special assistant for feral chicken control to his staff.

Peter Nilsen, Princeville

Headlights

We have been visitors to the Island for the last 23 years. We often drive in the early morning hours from Princeville to Lihu‘e to shop or golf.

Almost all autos in the incoming traffic to Princeville have their headlights on — almost all pickup trucks do not.

Do they not understand the safety issue in not turning on their lights?

Dick and Judy Hames, Richland, Wash.

Freedom of speech

I was just informed by email about the restrictions at the Princeville Library regarding free magazines families donate for the magazine exchange: Christian magazines are not accepted on the free rack.

I believe this action violates our First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, therefore public workers are in a subliminal way taking our freedoms away.

In a peaceful, amicable manner I want to let you all Kaua‘i citizens of this incident. I encourage you to use your freedom of speech, speak out your concerns publicly and remind the librarians that it is a public place for community to enjoy. All topics should be in balance to make it a fun and exciting experience going to the library. Mahalo.

Goretti Perdue, Kilauea

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