It was noon on a Sunday and Eric Yunginger, a part-time Sac County EMT and captain of the Sac City fire department, knew he felt off but couldn’t place why. He noticed he was having difficulty with basic fine motor skill tasks, such as buttoning his jeans, putting on his coat, or even holding his cell phone, and not realizing what was going on, decided to go for a drive to clear his head.
As he got into his pickup, he couldn’t see the button to start the truck. After recognizing he was in trouble, and realizing he was unable to dial his phone, Yunginger went to his neighbors for help. They quickly realized that Eric needed emergency help for his stroke-like symptoms and called the paramedics.
When he arrived at Loring Hospital, Yunginger recalls, “I just remember looking around the ER and thinking: ‘You know what? I’m in good hands, and I’ve got nothing to worry about. They’re going to take care of me.’” There, Yunginger was treated for a stroke and is grateful for the timely care he received. Having access to 24/7 care at Loring Hospital meant that Yunginger didn’t have a 45-minute delay going to a hospital farther away. As someone who has clocked many hours working an ambulance, but just experienced his first time on the stretcher, he’s thankful that “someone will be there when you need them” at Loring Hospital.
To further support him, Yunginger’s care staff took advantage of Avel eCare, a newer service that Loring Hospital provides. Avel eCare is a telemedicine provider that offers provider-to-provider services for rural communities across the United States. This means that Loring healthcare staff could focus on hands-on care for Yunginger while they were guided by a remote Avel physician.
Yunginger explains Avel eCare as the “eye in the sky” to help with charting, timing and bed placement to other facilities. This remote care helps Loring Hospital staff perform their medical duties in the room and provide excellent care to our community. Having observed the eCare system at work when delivering critical patients to the ER as an EMT, Yunginger was glad the service was available while he was in the emergency room.
Through Avel eCare, Yunginger appreciates that there was “someone remote and removed from the situation that isn’t emotionally involved.” This extra layer of support helped Yunginger get greater care from his Loring team while Avel was setting up a helicopter to transport him to a hospital in Sioux Falls for a higher level of care.
Today, Yunginger is doing well and feeling good, having made a full recovery. He is thankful to Loring Hospital staff, especially Dr. Bernadette Gyano, MD, and Jamie Bloyer, RN, for the care he received and ability to receive it in such a timely manner.