Stryker donates defibrillator to MC employee

Aug 20, 2020

The fact that defibrillators really do save lives was vividly illustrated at MC about a year ago when, with the help of a Stryker defibrillator, first-aiders from MC were able to save the life of their colleague Mieczyslaw Pacanowski after he had suffered a heart attack. As part of its “Forward Hearts” campaign, the Stryker company rewards such successful resuscitation outcomes with a free defibrillator. Hans-Peter Marten, Area Manager North Germany at Stryker GmbH & Co. KG, Duisburg, visited MC-Bauchemie in Bottrop on 16 June 2020 and handed over the new defibrillator to Mieczyslaw Pacanowski and further employees of MC-Bauchemie.

The Forward Hearts campaign

“If someone is saved or resuscitated by a member of the public with one of our defibrillators and that person survives, we donate a device to the survivor, which he or she can then pass on as a gift in line with the motto of our Forward Hearts campaign ‘Pass on a heart or a life’,” explained Hans-Peter Marten as he expanded on his company's campaign and the reason for his visit to MC-Bauchemie on 16 June 2020.


First-aiders save work colleague’s life

Around about a year earlier, in June 2019, a life-threatening incident occurred in the early hours of the morning on the Am Kruppwald site of MC. Mieczyslaw Pacanowski, long-time gate security guard at MC in Bottrop, had – as usual – arrived on his bike at 4:30 a.m. to start his shift at 5:00 a.m. Just after the morning handover of the keys by the guard on the night shift, Pacanowski suddenly collapsed and fainted in the gatehouse. Fortunately, night guard Edwin Sauerwald caught him as he fell and eased him into a chair, thus avoiding the injuries that could have otherwise occurred from heavy contact with the ground. Sauerwald immediately called for an ambulance. Wolfgang Vogel, putty and mastic production supervisor, and Robert Horniak, deputy supervisor of bitumen and bitumen emulsion production at MC, who also happened to be present and fortunately are both first-aiders, immediately stepped in with response and resuscitation measures. They used the Stryker defibrillator, following the voice instructions automatically generated by the device, which – after a short time – also delivered the electrical countershock treatment. Just a few seconds later, the heart of the fallen MC security guard began beating again. The ambulance arrived within a couple of minutes and the duty doctor took charge of the patient. He thanked the three helpers, assuring them that they had done exactly the right thing and congratulating them on their quick thinking and solid commitment in saving their colleague's life.



Textbook resuscitation attempt delivers optimal outcome

“The resuscitation log of a defibrillator can be retrieved if required, with only the anonymised vital data being made available to doctors or health care institutions,” says Hans-Peter Marten. “The log of the intervention with Mr Pacanowski shows that the resuscitation attempt in this case was optimally performed. He received two doses of countershock current while resuscitation continued – a textbook procedure,” Marten was keen to emphasise.


“I am beyond grateful to my work colleagues for saving my life that morning,” said Mieczyslaw Pacanowski, adding: “I would also like to thank the Stryker company for this wonderful donation and am pleased to hand over the defibrillator to our site management for installation in the gatehouse so that it can help others in an emergency.” Pacanowski, who lives in Bottrop, was lucky in his misfortune in that he woke up from his coma after a few days in the intensive care unit. Following several months of convalescence and rehab, he returned to work at MC just under five months ago.


Hans-Peter Marten could not conceal his joy and delight as the handover took place. “It's always wonderful to talk to a survivor – a real goose bumps moment,” said Marten, adding: “There are no arguments against using a defibrillator – they simply save lives, as in the case of Mr. Pacanowski.”


Head of Operations Michael Schilf and Carsten Striepecke, Head of Logistics at MC and also responsible for MC security personnel, praised the first aiders for their exemplary response: “In this critical situation, you stayed calm with good presence of mind, applied what you had learned in your first-aid training and saved our and your colleague's life. Manfred Poersch, MC’s specialist for occupational safety and also the officer responsible for health management at MC-Bauchemie, added: “This example shows how important and effective our annual first-aid training is, as well as how vital defibrillators can be when it comes to saving lives.”


MC-Bauchemie has eight defibrillators, four of which are installed at central locations around the site in Bottrop, with three more at MC sites in Esslingen, Zwenkau and Grossbeeren. “We are now about to install the donated defibrillator in the Bottrop site’s gatehouse as requested,” assured Occupational Safety Officer Manfred Poersch, thus fulfilling Mieczyslaw Pacanowski’s wishes.

Hans-Peter Marten (left) presents MC security guard Mieczyslaw Pacanowski (right) with a defibrillator.
Hans-Peter Marten (left) presents MC security guard Mieczyslaw Pacanowski (right) with a defibrillator.
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