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Scott Crane thanks Laurel Barrett, left, Erin Smyth and Eric Goralnick in person nearly three weeks after the Jan. 16 Patriots game.
When Scott Crane headed to Gillette Stadium with his brother-in-law to see the New England Patriots play the New York Jets Jan. 16, the longtime Patriots fan was hoping for a win. Though his football team lost, the efforts of another team led to a winning result for the 50-year-old Avon resident, who lost consciousness and suffered a heart attack during the game.
“We had to walk quite a ways from our parking space to our seats in the 300 section, near the top of the stadium, but I felt normal and not at all winded,” Crane said. “But we were cheering during the first quarter, and I fainted. I don’t really remember anything after that.”
After Crane lost consciousness, nearby security activated the medical response system. Paramedics from Foxborough EMS then transported an unresponsive Crane to the East 300 Level Clinic, one of four clinics throughout the stadium. Part of a system of emergency medical care run by the BWH Department of Emergency Medicine, the clinics are staffed with BWH physicians and nurses during sporting events and concerts to provide medical care to fans.
Erin Smyth, RN, a BWH Emergency Department nurse, and Laurel Barrett, MD, a second-year Emergency Medicine resident, were on duty in the clinic when EMS brought Crane in.
“He had no pulse, and he wasn’t breathing,” said Smyth, who worked with Barrett and the EMS crew to rapidly assess, defibrillate, intubate and resuscitate Crane. “We’re used to seeing cases like this in the Emergency Department, but this is a completely different environment. The EMS crew there really helped to run the resuscitation.”
Barrett agrees that it was clearly a team effort that helped lead to the positive outcome.
“The best thing was that we got to him so soon,” she said. “The paramedics brought him in, and we were able help him in a timely manner. This case was a perfect demonstration of why we set up the system of care at Gillette Stadium the way we did.”
Once Crane’s heart was restarted and his breathing was restored, he was transported to nearby Norwood Hospital, where doctors determined he had an obstructed artery and performed a cardiac catheterization.
“He walked out of the hospital two days later, which is a testament to the outstanding teamwork of everyone who was in Foxborough that day,” said Eric Goralnick, MD, of the Department of Emergency Medicine and medical director for Gillette Stadium, who was also in the East 300 Clinic on Jan. 16.
The BWH medical team treats anywhere from 50 to 90 people during a typical football game, and up to 400 during an all-day country music festival each summer. For the 70,000 fans who pack Gillette Stadium for any given event, this service not only provides them the convenience of care so that they don’t have to leave the event for less urgent treatment but also, as in cases like Crane’s, may be life-saving.
“Everyone did an outstanding job, and I appreciate all the workers who were at that game. They saved my life,” said Crane, who added that he plans to continue attending Patriots games next season, with one caveat: “Next time, I’ll try to get a lower seat.”