Monday, April 19, 2010

Emergencies and CPR

We have had quite a few emergencies lately, either within the family or with friends of our family. These events have reminded me how much we need to remember to rely on our instincts when we feel something isn't quite right. Often, we rely on medical professionals to tell us, often over the phone, whether we need to be worried about something, or if they think something might be serious. We trust these people to take care of our children and ourselves. As a mother, I know that sometimes a nurse or doctor can make you feel like you are exaggerating or making too much out of small symptoms. I am writing to remind all of the mothers out there that if you feel in your gut that something isn't quite right push to get help from someone that will listen.

The girls' babysitter, Sarah, had quite a weekend with her family in San Antonio. When she got here today she told me all about the scary weekend they had. Her niece, Harley, was having her 1 year birthday party on Sunday afternoon. Sarah and her boyfriend, Trent, drove to San Antonio Friday after she left our house to be with her family for the weekend before the party. Harley had just had her 12 month shots on Wednesday and was still showing signs of some fever and some other small symptoms on Friday. Her mother, Stephanie, had called the 24-hour nurse to discuss her concern with the "low-grade" fever and they told her they don't usually get worried unless the fever is over 100.4 degrees. I've heard this from nurses as well. So Stephanie put Harley down for her afternoon nap just like she would any other day. She took her temperature and gave her some Tylenol before leaving the room to let Harley sleep. About an hour and a half later, Harley's Dad, Keith, heard something over the baby monitor and went to check on Harley. She wasn't breathing and her face was blue. He started trying to clear her airway and do baby CPR while Stephanie, Sarah and Trent tried to keep calm and call 9-1-1 and help Keith with Harley. It took Keith a few minutes to get Harley breathing again and it took 30 MINUTES for the ambulance to arrive.

After a weekend spent at the hospital doing tests, the final diagnosis from the doctors was a febrile seizure which is common in small children when they have a spike in fever very quickly. In Harley's case, in just an hour and a half her fever went from 99.0 to 102.0 maybe higher.

Sarah said that all of the people there had been trained, at one point, in infant CPR but when your child or your niece is blue and not breathing, you can easily forget everything you have been trained and just freak out not knowing what to do. Brent and I, along with the girls' Gran and Grandaddy, were all trained in infant CPR before the girls left the NICU, but I have often wondered if I could remember everything we were taught in an emergency situation.

I felt it was important to post a video demonstrating infant CPR for anyone that reads my blog. Watch this over and over, I might even keep it handy and watch it once a week just to keep it fresh on my mind. A lot of our friends and family are having children and I would hate for something to happen to one of those precious babies because their parents' didn't have the information on how to perform infant CPR. We always think that when we call 9-1-1 they are minutes away, well, what if it takes them 20 minutes, 30 minutes to get there. You need to know what to do to save your child.

Infant CPR

Child CPR

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