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News > 374th CS, 374th CES "connect" to help fellow Airman
Working together to save a life
When a Yokota Airman needed his room renovated to support a device that would monitor his heart, the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron and the 374th Communications Squadron worked together to lend a helping hand. (U.S. Air Force graphic/Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse)
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374th CS, 374th CES "connect" to help fellow Airman

Posted 9/5/2011   Updated 9/6/2011 Email story   Print story


by Airman John D. Partlow
374th Airlift Wing/Public Affairs

9/5/2011 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- When a Yokota Airman needed his room renovated to support a device that would monitor his heart, several squadrons came together to lend a helping hand.

After experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest during a physical training exercise, Airman 1st Class Tan Nguyen, 374th Medical Operations Squadron, required the use of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator to monitor for the potential of abnormal heartbeats.

"I was still in the hospital when I heard about getting an ICD in my chest and how different Yokota squadrons came together to help set-up a new dorm room and install a commercial Japanese telephone line to monitor my device and heart," said Airman Nguyen. "That was really overwhelming."

To monitor a patient's heart, a two part system is required. The ICD is implanted in the patient's chest and connected by a lead from the device through a vein to the heart.
The other part needed is a data transmitter that sends information about the patient's heart and ICD to his or her doctor.

"The devices are very sophisticated," said Capt. Robert Ochsner, a staff physician at the 374th MDOS. "They have very detailed recording capabilities and send information to a database where it is all stored."

Airman Nguyen needed the proper equipment installed in his dorm room to ensure the device could be monitored, which required the combined effort of the 374th Communications Squadron and the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron.

The 374th CES members drilled holes along the hallway walls outside the dorm room so a telephone line could be connected to the device from a cable distribution box in the hallway.

Members from the 374th CS then ran communications cables from the Airman's room to the distributor. The 374th CS also worked with the local Japanese telephone company to establish service for Airman Nguyen's life monitoring line.

"It's not every day you get the opportunity to help a fellow Airmen," said Stephen Butler, 374th CS cable and antenna systems technician, who helped install the commercial telephone cable Airmen Nguyen needed.

By the time Airman Nguyen departed the hospital, the project was finished.

"I was impressed by the work the different squadrons and Japanese Nationals did to get everything working correctly," said Airman Nguyen. "Without the proper instillation, my ICD monitoring system would not work properly so I am very thankful."

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