Under normal circumstances, emergency phone operators don’t physically revive patients on the job. These operators are exceedingly good at remaining calm under pressure and talking people through difficult, often life-threatening, situations.
Recently, that rule went out the window for an operator in Argentina. It all started when a white truck screeched to a halt outside the clinic and a frantic family climbed out. Security cameras captured all of the action.
Alma Cristal Barraza was working at the emergency call center of Mar del Plata Operations and Monitoring Center in Argentina when they received word that 17-day-old Marcos was on his way in. The infant had been breastfeeding when he aspirated the milk into his lungs. He’d stopped breathing and was rapidly turning blue, so his family rushed him to the closest medical clinic.
Alma met the boy’s panicked parents at the door and immediately grabbed the infant to start lifesaving measures.
“The baby was without vital signs and was purple,” Alma recalled. “He was not reactive. There, at that moment, I wasted no time, I put him in the resuscitation position, I massaged his spine, dry blows very carefully. I knew I had to get him out and I started doing CPR.”
As Marcos’ parents screamed for help and doubled over in anguish, Alma remained unflappable under pressure. When she started to see signs that the baby was coming around, she leaned in close to his ear and told him to keep breathing. Soon he coughed up the phlegm that had been blocking his airway, and the color immediately started to return to his face. Alma blew gently into his face to encourage airflow.
By the time the ambulance arrived, Alma had the situation well in hand. She continued to rub the baby’s back as she spoke to the EMTs, and then she got right into the ambulance and carried the child to the hospital.
The baby was checked out at the hospital and is expected to make a complete recovery!
His poor parents, however, might take a bit longer to recover from this stressful incident. Thank goodness Alma had the training and grace to work under pressure and save the day!
Watch the dramatic security footage in the video below, and be sure to share to encourage all parents and caregivers to learn infant CPR.
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