By Jaclyn Seebsitt
Monday, March 13, began as any ordinary day for Dr. Marleigh Erickson, a Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group (MAPMG) pediatric neurologist at Kensington Medical Center. She drove to work, parked her car in the garage, and began walking to the building to start her day. What happened next, however, quickly became a blur: As Dr. Erickson approached the building, she noticed a man lying face down on the ground. He had hit the ground hard, knocked out teeth, and was bleeding and unresponsive.
Dr. Erickson assessed that the man had no pulse and began CPR with the help of another member who was also at the scene. They called for security and requested an AED. By that time, nurses came to their aid and Dr. Erickson attached and deployed the AED. They continued CPR, rechecked the member, and were relieved to see that he had a pulse again. Internal Medicine and EMS personnel then took over, and Dr. Erickson was able to start her day. Thanks to Dr. Erickson’s quick instincts and the help of the other good Samaritans who came to her aid, the member survived.
Dr. Erickson joined MAPMG about five years ago as a pediatric neurologist and has been practicing pediatric neurology since 1995. Prior to that, she practiced adult neurology and also served 21 years as an active duty Medical Corps officer in the U.S. Army. While deployed to Baghdad as a Field Surgeon during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Dr. Erickson practiced general medicine and took care of many service members and civilians of the Multinational Forces there. She also treated a few cardiac cases in Baghdad, including a patient who had a heart attack and another who had cardiomyopathy, but neither had lost their pulse. In her experience, Dr. Erickson has treated patients having seizures, and others who have fainted or fallen, but she has never had to resuscitate someone without a pulse outside a hospital setting in the community.
Actions such as Dr. Erickson’s and the Kensington staff who helped her speak volumes about the high caliber of people that Kaiser Permanente hires as physicians and medical staff. Thank you to Dr. Erickson and all the staff at Kensington who went beyond the call of duty to save a life.