Did You Know | Health

Nurse Saves Her Own Life By Spotting Heart Condition Before Doctors

Katie Barber - Instagram

Katie Barber from Long Island has an interesting credit to include on her resume: she’s seen medical professionals at work from both sides of the hospital bed, as both a nurse and a patient.

Plus, Barber managed to save her own life by identifying a medical emergency before her doctors.

The 25-year-old put her education to good use after being treated for a hip injury in 2018. While it was an old wound, the hip fracture started bothering her last year and Barber went under the knife to repair it.

Katie Barber
Barber's unusual medical story started with a hip surgery.Katie Barber - Instagram

After the surgery, Barber was told to rest for two weeks before starting physical therapy. That’s when she noticed her shortness of breath.

"Being a nurse, I started to wonder if this could be deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE)," Barber told MDW Features.

"I never thought something like this would happen to me, but I went to the hospital just to be safe. Well, I’m glad I went because it turns out I had a right leg DVT with bilateral PEs."

Deep vein thrombosis is a type of blood clot that’s associated with slowed blood flow, and it often strikes patients after a hip surgery.

If left untreated, the clot can block blood flow in the lungs and cause a fatal blockage called a pulmonary embolism.

Oxygen Mask
Barber needed an oxygen mask after her lungs filled with fluid.Katie Barber - Instagram

Barber’s self-diagnosis turned out to be 100% correct, and spotting the symptoms early may have saved her life.

After more symptoms like dizziness emerged, doctors realized she also had a heart condition called junctional rhythm. Soon, Barber was back in the hospital, and an x-ray showed her lungs were filling with fluid.

In the end, doctors were forced to put Barber through surgery again, this time to install a pacemaker in her heart.

Katie Barber
Barber says her pacemaker is a good lesson for her patients about heart health.Katie Barber - Instagram

While 25 is awfully young to get a pacemaker, Barber says her health has improved dramatically since her surgery earlier this month. Now, she uses her pacemaker to illustrate how getting one can improve her patients’ lives.

Not many nurses can share firsthand knowledge about such a serious operation with their patients, so Barber’s case is really special!

You can follow Barber’s story on her blog, Nurse Katie, or her Instagram account.

[H/T: Fox News]

Follow Barber’s example: if you notice serious symptoms, tell your doctor!

I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories. CONTACT: zachary@shared.com