Kettering College Graduate Saves Man’s Life

Kettering College alumni have served countless patients in our communities and beyond. It is impossible to know the enormity of the positive impact our alumni have made over the years. Sometimes, however, we are fortunate enough to hear specific stories of how Kettering College graduates have changed lives—and in several cases, saved lives.

Todd Christie graduated from Kettering College in 2002 and now works as a physician assistant for Kettering Health in the Heart & Vascular practice in the Yankee Street office. Todd says he was reviewing test results on the computer when he heard a noise that sounded like a high- pitched buzzing. He went out into the hallway and noticed the waiting room was full of medical staff in the orthopedic office.

Todd (center) and his well-being running group.

A man in the waiting room had collapsed, and the sound was an alarm from when the automated external defibrillator (AED) was removed from the wall by a medical assistant, whose quick actions, Todd says, were instrumental in saving this man’s life. Todd says, “A retired nurse was giving him chest compressions. I gave chest compressions for a short time and then placed the AED pads on the patient’s chest. The AED was turned on and it read, “shock advised.” I recognized the rhythm on the AED screen was ventricular fibrillation. I delivered two shocks and alternated with the nurse who was giving chest compressions.”

The squad arrived shortly after the team gave the man further chest compressions. The squad  took over the chest compressions and loaded the patient onto a gurney and transported him to the emergency room at Kettering Health Washington Township and eventually to Soin Medical Center. Todd says, “He underwent cardiac catheterization and coronary stent placement, stayed overnight in the ICU on a ventilator, and was extubated the next morning.”

The man was not a patient at the Yankee Street office. He was simply a family member accompanying a loved on to their appointment. Todd says, “He was discharged from the hospital to his home six days later and was fully neurologically intact.”

Todd’s co-workers wanted to show their appreciation for his quick-thinking and commitment to serving others. He was recently surprised with the Above and Beyond award, presented by Kettering Physician Network to honor healthcare professionals who exhibit exemplary dedication to providing quality care to everyone—in this case, not just patients.

Todd says, “I was part of a team that was already doing the right thing and needed a bit more help to get moving with using the AED and the nurse on the scene was giving high quality chest compressions.” He says his hands-on training at Kettering College has prepared him to know exactly what to do over the years as a physician assistant without hesitation. While still a student, he recalls having to administer CPR to a patient in an emergency room, so he started his career with an already established competency and heart towards helping.

As he looks back on his education, Todd says, “Academic and clinical instructors were extremely helpful in shaping my mindset to focus on getting the highest level of education possible and continuing that education during my career. The team-based learning I received while at Kettering College has shaped my very successful career and helped to save a life many times.” 


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