Wednesday, May 20, 2009

LifeBridge Doctor Acts Quickly; Saves Life

by Betsy Haley

Dr. Michael Zollicoffer, M.D., (or as he refers to himself, Dr. Z) practices old fashioned medicine and teaches the parents of his pediatric patients about using their instinct and creating balance.

“Intuitiveness and instinct are two keys to great health and my medical practice,” says Dr. Z, who practices in the LifeBridge Health Michel Mirowski Medical Office Building.

Dr. Z used this instinctive nature during a recent visit from an eighth-month-old female patient and her Spanish speaking relatives. The patient presented with respiratory distress and as Dr. Z evaluated her status, he became very concerned. With the help of a translator, he was able to explain to the baby’s mother the gravity of the situation. As he continued to examine his patient, she grew listless, turned blue, and almost stopped breathing. Her wheezing intensified. Without hesitation, Dr. Z rushed the baby out of the examination room, through the main lobby of his practice, and asked his staff to warn Sinai Hospital ER-7 that he was minutes away. While holding the baby, he sustained the inhaler treatments and attempts to regulate breathing. He continued across the Greenspring Avenue bridge and across the parking lot to Sinai Hospital. While carrying the baby, Dr. Z hoped that he would make it in time.

“I was very nervous about this baby’s respiratory state,” says Dr. Z. “I knew that my time was very limited and I needed to act with extreme speed to save her life. I told her Mom, trust Dr. Z! Then, I ran.”

When Dr. Z entered the emergency department, Sinai nurses were ready to help. The baby was intubated within minutes and later was moved to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. She remained in the PICU for 3 days and is now at home and healthy. Dr. Z’s quick decision and natural instinct saved her life.

“I believe in access to health care for all people. It didn’t matter to me that a language barrier exists between my patient’s family and me. I’m here to help, heal and educate all people, even my patients who are underinsured or uninsured.”


Brian Schleter said...

Amazing story! Great job Betsy.

rachel griffith said...

Great Story! That was very heroic of Dr. Zollicoffer. It's good to now we still have doctor's who are compassionate about people as well as their profession.

I would like to learn more about him and his practice. He seems like a pediatrician I would like to have manage my kids health.