Commuting to and from work is normally a routine event, however, on October 12, 2016, it was anything but routine for Jean Côté. While on his train to work, Jean heard a call for a doctor or first aid assistance.

(l-r) Representing the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC), Patrice Pouliot, Jean Côté, Board Member Marco Romani (photo by Peter Kelly)

Jumping up to assist, he found Normand Peloquin looking very pale and haggard. Noticing the start of major swelling, Jean discovered that, approximately 30 minutes earlier, M. Peloquin had been stung by an insect. An anaphylactic attack was suspected due to the facial swelling, difficulty breathing, and a swollen tongue.

As the individual had never had any sort of reaction to stings before, he was unaware of his allergy. Jean called out to see if anybody had an EpiPen, and a woman nearby offered hers. He then explained the procedure, and assisted M. Peloquin to inject the epinephrine into his thigh. Emergency medical services had been called, and Jean continued to monitor the patient and noticed an improvement in breathing.

Jean helped the patient off of the train and stayed with him until medical assistance arrived. Once he turned his patient over to the next level of care, Jean continued on his way to work. The first ambulance to arrive on scene did not have epinephrine on board, and a second ambulance was dispatched. It was not until about half an hour later that a second dose of epinephrine was administered. Had Jean not been present to recognize the signs and symptoms, and administer the first dose of epinephrine, the outcome could have been very different.

In the words of M. Peloquin:

“Of course, my loss of clear-mindedness prevents me from giving an account of the events … But one thing is certain: Mr. Côté’s assistance was a key factor for me. His intervention allowed me to avoid an anaphylactic crisis. I never knew that I was allergic to wasps. I thank Mr. Jean Côté for his intervention and I congratulate him for his mental alertness.”

For his quick thinking, and lifesaving action, the CSP was very pleased to honour Mr. Jean Côté with the John D. Harper Lifesaving Award at the Altitude conference in Quebec City this year.

Lifesaving award – Jean Côté – Eastern Townships Zone