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  •  Rome Memorial Hospital’s Cardiopulmonary Department director comes to the aid of fellow travelers suffering from respiratory distress

    Eileen G. Luley, MS, RRT, RPSGT, director of Rome Memorial Hospital’s Cardiopulmonary Services department, is dedicated to providing her patients with the best quality care for respiratory and sleep disorders. Recently, however, she also showed that her passion for delivering compassionate care is not limited to just those in her own community.
    While traveling, Luley’s extensive experience with respiratory issues was put to the test when she was directly responsible for saving two lives within the span of less than 30 minutes at the Atlanta, Ga. airport.

    “While waiting to board my flight, I noticed a little girl, about two years old, running around playing,” Luley said, “and then suddenly she stopped.”  

    Luley recognized that the child appeared to be choking and her mother was trying but could not clear her daughter’s airway. Luley, who also happens to be an American Heart Association Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) instructor, picked up the child and administered back blows until a piece of pizza crust popped out of her mouth.
    “Both the little girl’s parents thanked me so much for stepping up to help,” Luley said. “They both said they were so grateful that I was there.”
    Amazingly, less than 30 minutes later Luley’s expertise as a respiratory therapist was again required when she noticed a woman in the same area of the airport who seemed to be in severe respiratory distress.
    “The woman was clearly having trouble breathing and suddenly collapsed,” Luley said. “I went over to see if I could help and she was still conscious, but barely able to speak.”
    The woman managed to tell Luley that she had asthma and running to make her flight had triggered an attack. Luley worked to calm the woman down in an effort to help get her breathing under control and asked the woman if she had a rescue inhaler, which she did have in her purse. Luley retrieved the inhaler and helped administer the medication.
    “It took four puffs before she began to recover, but at that point she started to relax and breathe much easier,” Luley said. “She and her husband thanked me several times for helping during a scary situation.”
    Thanks to Luley’s quick action, the woman was able to continue on her travels with no further problems. She was actually on the same flight as Luley, who checked on her again to seek how she was doing once they were boarded.
    “Eileen’s expertise as a respiratory therapist made all the difference for these two people,” said Lynda Ferris, MS, RRT, AE-C, CPFT, coordinator of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at Rome Memorial Hospital. “When she told me about everything that happened on her trip, I immediately wanted to share her story with others, especially with other therapists, to help remind them that our profession makes a difference every day both on and off the job.”
    Luley joined Rome Memorial Hospital as director of Cardiopulmonary Services in 2006, bringing with her more than 20 years of experience. She provides leadership and oversight to the hospital’s respiratory, cardiodiagnostic and sleep services. A registered respiratory therapist, she earned her master’s degree in health education from SUNY Cortland and her bachelor’s degree in health services management from SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome. She is respected for her knowledge and professionalism, her dedication to her patients and her efforts to improve the overall health of the community.

    Eileen Luley 
    Eileen G. Luley, MS, RRT, RPSGT, director of Rome Memorial Hospital’s
     Cardiopulmonary Services department