When summer swimming became a life-or-death situation for a young boy, U.S. Air Force Maj. Milt Poll, an anesthesiologist for the 86th Medical Squadron at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC), used his military training to aid in rescue efforts.
During an outing with family and friends at a local aquatic center, Poll was playing with his daughter in a small wading pool when he saw a boy being pulled out of the water. According to Poll, the child was not breathing, and his skin was blue in color with small abrasions on his arms and face.
“I noticed the staff was doing chest compressions,” recalls Poll, a native of Ogden, Utah. “Always being in the mindset to respond during emergencies, I began to assist with CPR and checking his pulse.”
After several minutes, poll recalls the child beginning to move and breathing on his own, however he did not wake up.
“The child did have some vomit in his mouth, so I cleared his month by turning his head to the side, and then we rolled him over, and I just maintained his airway, which is part of my training,” said Poll.
Poll have been an anesthesiologist for over nine years and been supporting the medical teams at LRMC for over two years.
“I listened to his chest. His lungs sounded clear while I ensured that he continued to breathe while we waited for emergency crews to arrive.”
Poll continued holding the airway open while performing a head-to-toe evaluation. According to Poll, the responding medical team suggested the accident may have been a result of a collision which caused the child to lose consciousness while in the pool.
“I continued to make sure the boy’s vitals stayed stabilized until the medic team showed up, and I was asked to step aside,” said Poll. “They set up their monitors, put the EKG on him and gave him oxygen.”
After a minute, the child’s oxygen level stabilized and he regained consciousness.
“I chose to become an anesthesiologist for two reasons really; because the field of anesthesiology has most all, been one of the things I enjoy about being a doctor and because I wanted to be prepared and confident to respond in an emergency like this one!”, said Poll.