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Lillian Kuczka, 91, nurse who helped develop the crash cart

Aug. 21, 1926 – Sept. 18, 2017

Lillian “Pat” Kuczka, a nurse who helped develop the “crisis cart” for hospitals, died Monday in Autumn View Health Care Facility, Hamburg. She was 91.

Born in Orchard Park, the former Lillian F. Patterson was a 1944 graduate of Orchard Park High School and earned her certificate of nursing from the Edward J. Meyer School of Nursing in 1948.

Working at Meyer Memorial Hospital, now Erie County Medical Center, she became head nurse in the intensive care unit. In 1968, she assisted the Emergency Department supervisor, Anita Dorr, in designing and equipping a wooden cart with life-saving supplies, which they called the Emergency Nursing Crisis Cart, the predecessor to the modern “crash cart.”

She also helped pioneering trauma specialist Dr. John Border establish ECMC’s John R. Border MD Trauma Intensive Care Unit.

Both of these accomplishments are recognized in the Edward J. Meyer School of Nursing history exhibit on the first floor of ECMC.

Mrs. Kuczka left ECMC in 1981 to become a nurse at Buffalo General Hospital, where she served until she retired in 1992.

She remained active in alumni and professional organizations, including the E. J. Meyer School of Nursing Alumni Association and the Erie County Hospital Retirees Association.

She enjoyed attending festivals and special events and visiting Myrtle Beach, S.C. She also created ceramics, did decorative painting and sent handmade greeting and holiday cards to friends and family.

Her husband of 46 years, Robert J., a steelworker, died in 1996.

Survivors include a son, Mark.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday in John J. Kaczor Funeral Home, 5453 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg.

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