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EIRMC nurse honored for saving dying man on airplane

Health & Fitness

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EDITOR’S NOTE: is teaming up with the American Red Cross of Greater Idaho to honor ordinary individuals who have done extraordinary things to help others.
The winners of the 2016 East Idaho Real Heroes awards were announced at the American Red Cross’s annual luncheon Thursday, Feb. 25. Each day, through March 7, will feature a different winner.

IDAHO FALLS — Iris Torvik was flying from Idaho Falls back home to Texas to spend the holidays with her family when she noticed something was amiss in one of the seats across the aisle.

One of the male passengers had stopped breathing and was turning blue. Fellow passengers were lifting the unresponsive man into the aisle when Iris informed the flight crew that she was a nurse.

Iris began chest compressions on the unresponsive man while another medical professional kept the gentleman’s head tilted to open the airway. When they checked, they found no pulse. That did not stop Iris. She continued chest compressions until the man finally regained a light pulse.

2016 Medical Hero Iris Torvik

At this point, Iris and her helpers were able to put the man on oxygen and stabilize him for the rest of the flight. Thanks to Iris’s quick and professional response, the passenger’s life was saved.

Iris has over 30 years of medical experience. She is currently the Executive Director of Women and Children’s Services at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. While she has saved many lives on the job, this is the first time outside of work where she’s been able to assist in such a dramatic way.


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