Wayne State University medical student saves woman's life at Walmart

Published On: Oct 12 2012 07:35:16 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 12 2012 07:37:46 PM EDT

A Detroit medical student got hands-on experience at an unlikely time and in an unlikely place.


Wayne State University medical student Melanie McQueen was in the right place at the right time to take a big leap into her field of study: Saving lives.

McQueen recently was shopping at a Walmart in Taylor when she happened to come across a startling Halloween display, or so she thought.

"I could only see the lady's head and it looked like a Halloween decoration at first because it was very blue," McQueen said.

The head she saw turned out to be real and attached to a 50-year-old woman who was in real trouble.

"She was pulse-less at the time," McQueen said.

It was a Monday and on the previous Friday McQueen had been taught a technique all future doctors must learn.

"We had gone through what's called ACLS training -- advanced cardiac life support training. We only had two days of instruction. The entire time I was thinking, 'This is so different than the manikin," she said. "So I started doing chest compressions. We did bagging inhalation. We defibrillated her three times. The way you know you're doing it right is when you start breaking ribs. I broke a rib and I remember thinking, 'Oh my gosh. That was a rib.' It was just like an eerie feeling ... all in the middle of Walmart. But, eventually she had a pulse."

McQueen still has a year left before taking the doctor's Hippocratic Oath.

She already has a life saved under her belt before she puts the word doctor before her name.


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