Caffeine: A life Saver
Mark C. Daggy


        The incident happened in the summer of 1971. Tommy  later became a dog (goat) lab instructor in 1975/1976. Actually a Sgt. mumbled the phrase first, and when the Colonel of 7th Group walked toward him wanting to know who said that, I piped up to distract the Colonel from the Sgt. Then the entire 91B class covered my ass. The medics were always a little different when it came to snapping to for authority.
        Only 1 month after to this incident I believe this same Colonel had his Irish Setter run over by a car. He brought his dog into Dog Lab to save it, all broken up. Myself and Sgt. D were on duty at Dog Lab that night. We helped the vet set 2 broken legs and place wires to hold broken ribs together to keep them from puncturing a lung. The vet went home at midnight. During the night the dogs heart quit beating at least a half dozen times. At first epinephrine IV worked, then a 6" needle into the heart, and final nothing worked. I remembered studying about caffeine being one of the strongest cardiac muscle stimulators. I took a 6" cardiac needle and injected a vial of pure caffeine into the dogs heart. We injected bicarbonate to keep acidosis from over taking the dog. By 8:00 am the next morning the Irish Setter was licking the Colonel's hand when he came to visit.
        The Colonel told both Sgt. D and myself when he brought the dog in that if we saved the dogs life he would bring us our favorite bottle of liquor plus give us any Group assignment that we requested. I chose Johnny Walker Red and 1st Group.
        Little did I know that that incident with caffeine injected directly into the heart, would help me save a half dozen Asian kids while doing vaccinations in a village with chicken made vaccine. Joe W was with me along with several other weapons and commo guys helping vaccinate. Turned out the vaccine was tainted and the 1 to 3 year olds were going into anaphylactic shock after leaving the vaccination site. Their mothers were bringing them back 5 to 10 minutes later, dead and all cyanotic. We revived them with caffeine injected directly into their hearts with 6" cardiac needles. After watching me, Joe  told me he would take me anywhere as his medic.
        We are all different gentlemen. I would lay down my life for that same Colonel one day, and be confrontive with his oppressive demeanor the next. If the Colonel had walked up and requested that we act and march like America's elite, I believe we would have done just that.
I still believe authority is something men give you, not something taken. I'm certain a good many newby lieutenants had to figure that out from a First Sgt. or two.
        This would have happened in July of 1971 at Ft. Bragg.
 
                                                                Mark C. Daggy