Medical student saves choking staff member at UTMC

June 14, 2016 | News, Medicine and Life Sciences, UTMC
By Amanda Benjamin



When University of Toledo medical student Jessica Ickes heard a cry for help in the Four Seasons Bistro at UT Medical Center, she sprang into action. Ickes performed the Heimlich maneuver on a UT staff member who was choking and saved her life.

Ickes

Ickes

“It was nerve-wracking,” Ickes said. “You have to not focus on how scary it is and just do what you need to do.”

A UTMC nurse also helped by bringing water and napkins, Ickes said. “Collectively, everyone was looking on to make sure the situation was resolved and that she was OK.”

Michelle Arbogast, UT health science affairs director, witnessed the incident. “It was surreal,” she said. “Everyone jumped into action and then went back to studying.”

Arbogast said she was impressed by how calm everyone was while helping the woman as well as the teamwork they displayed.

“If you’re going to have something like that happen, it’s good to be in a room full of people in the medical field,” Arbogast said.

UT medical student Jessica Ickes was added to the Above the Line wall for performing the Heimlich maneuver on a staff member who was choking.

UT medical student Jessica Ickes was added to the Above the Line wall for performing the Heimlich maneuver on a staff member who was choking.

Ickes has been recognized for her life-saving action by being featured on the Above the Line wall, which is located across from the gift shop at UTMC. The Above the Line wall honors UT physicians, staff and departments that go above and beyond to improve the quality of patient care at UTMC.

“The Above the Line initiative aims to elevate our culture and promote a growth mindset, leading to a higher standard of excellence at UTMC,” said Tony Urbina, service excellence officer. He added that recognizing those who go above and beyond supports a culture of teamwork, respect and excellence.

UTMC’s Department of Service Excellence changes who is honored on the Above the Line wall once a month and holds events to promote employee engagement.