CPR course helped N.M. woman save her young son's life


 
 

Jon SwardThe Santa Fe New Mexican | | Tuesday, June 26, 2007


PECOS, N.M. Pecos mother Joellen Chavez says there are two main reasons why her son Isaiah, 2, is still alive today. One reason, she said, is "the man upstairs."

The other is a cardiopulmonary resuscitation course she took 11 years ago.

Chavez said both helped Isaiah survive an accident May 22 at her parents' house in Pecos.

On that day, Chavez, 31, briefly lost track of Isaiah when she went to answer the front door. The toddler, who is the youngest of Chavez's five children, wandered into the backyard.

He made his way to his grandparents' swimming pool and looked under the pool cover in search of "fishies," he later told his mother. Isaiah's curiosity took a disastrous turn,however, when he fell into the pool.

Chavez said her intuition told her something was wrong.

"All of a sudden, it just got too quiet," she said.

She walked into the backyard toward the pool. The surface of the water was calm, but through the pool cover Chavez could see something lying at the bottom of the pool.

Because the water distorted her depth perception, she said she didn't initially realize the object was Isaiah.

"It didn't look like a body at all," she said. "I thought that it was an animal -- a dead bird or a dead squirrel or something."

Chavez was about to leave the pool area and search the rest of the property, she said, but "something told me that I needed to look in the pool right now!"

She pulled back the cover and saw Isaiah lying in 3-foot deep water. Chavez plucked him from the water.

Isaiah's face was bloated, and he was unconscious and not breathing. Chavez started performingCPR."I laid him down and juststarted doing stomach CPR, then mouth-to-mouth and then chest compressions," she said.

During the chest compressions,Isaiah's nostrils flared andwater came out his nose.

Chavez then performed the Heimlich maneuver, and Isaiah threw up much of the pool water he'd swallowed.

At this point, Isaiah's face had an unnatural grayish hue.

Chavez had seen the same color on her grandmother's face years earlier just before her grandmother died.

She knew she didn't have time to call 911 and wait for an ambulance. Chavez rushed to her car and called the Pecos Valley Medical Clinic. Medical workers told her to bring the child in.

At the clinic, Isaiah was stabilized.

"The baby was hypothermic and extremely low on oxygen," said Dr. L. David Young, the clinic's medical director, who assisted in Isaiah's stabilization.

"His lungs were in shock. ... He needed to go (to St. Vincent Regional Medical Center), but he needed to be stabilized too."

Isaiah spent the night at St.

Vincent for observation. He recovered from the episode quickly and subsequent checkups indicate he shouldn't suffer lingering health effects.

Considering her son probably spent several minutes underwa-ter, Chavez said his survival is nothing short of a miracle.

Young said the incident shows how knowledge of basic first aid can save lives.

"CPR can be done by anyone," he said, and Chavez's firstaid efforts undoubtedly saved Isaiah's life.

The Pecos Valley Medical Clinic is planning to offer free CPR classes to the public later this summer, Young said. An exact date for the classes hasn't been set.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Leadership and Professionalism, Industry News, Cardiac and Circulation, Training

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

NAEMT: Transforming EMS

A look inside at the Mobile Healthcare Paramedic system.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Austin-Travis County Community Health Paramedic Program

Overview of program provides operation and referral details.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Flight Paramedic’s Perfect Weekend

Carilion Lifeguard Flight Paramedic shares what would make his perfect weekend.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Honolulu EMS Pilot Program

New program tests change in shift schedule for EMTs and Paramedics.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Numerous Rescues during Arizona Flooding

Severe flooding across the region prompted several rescues.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Hiker Rescue

Injured hiker spent three hours in a crevice.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Airlift at Swiss Train Derailment

Helicopters used to help reach the injured.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >