The Patient: Paramedics were summoned to the home of a 74-year-old woman who had a complaint of shortness of breath. She was found sitting, alert and oriented, with labored respirations at 30/min. She stated that the shortness of breath came on suddenly. She denied any cardiac or pulmonary medical history, and said she took no medications. The patient was ambulatory. Her skin was cool and moist. Her SpO2 on room air was 85%, improving to 90% on oxygen via 15 lpm non-rebreather mask. Her lungs sounded clear.
When the patient was moved to the transport vehicle, she suddenly became nonverbal, with a leftward gaze. Her pupils were noted to be unequal and non-reactive (we do not know which was larger). Her BP was 67/43.
During transport, her heart rate declined into the 20’s and became apneic and pulseless. Recorded BP was 46/25. CPR was done until and after arrival at the hospital, where efforts to resuscitate were halted after some time.