Monday, June 27, 2011

A Must Have Skill for Everyone: CPR

One important skill or training I think every one should learn is CPR.  My husband and I were planning to take a class before our daughter was born, but it never happened since she was born 2 weeks early plus we were remodeling our kitchen (which ended up being a ~2 month project!)

After she was born we still thought about the class, but we were too tired since we only were able to sleep for 2-3 hrs at a time.  The sleep deprivation turned us into walking zombies and taking a CPR class was the last thing on our minds.

Fast fwd to 8 months, it was like any other night.  I left work at 5:45pm to pick up my daughter from my mom's house,  got home around 6:30 pm,  fed the dog, took the dog and Leia outside to play while Mr. F1 was cooking dinner.  We had brought our daughter to her pediatrician who even told us we should start giving her table food.  We were both pretty cautious and have been giving her nothing but puree food at this point.  After Mr. F1 was done with dinner we thought we would give it a try and feed her table food (cut up into tiny pieces).  The feeding was going smoothly when all of a sudden during the feeding she started coughing and then turned red...she continued coughing (like she was trying to clear her throat).  I seriously felt so helpless and those 8 months w/ her literally flashed before my eyes...I grabbed the phone and preceded to call 911 while my husband was patting my daughter's back trying to dislodge the piece of food obstructing her airway.  My husband then told me she looked fine and her color came back normal.  Her eyes were no longer red and watery.  The dark circles around her eyes disappeared.  I spoke to the 911 dispatcher on the other line and told her my daughter was fine, but she told me that the ambulance still needed to check her out to make sure she was really okay.

The ambulance (firetruck) arrived.  4 EMTs came into our house.  Of course this scared my daughter, and she started crying.  One of them checked her out, and said our daughter was fine.  She then added we should take her to emergency/urgent care because when my daughter was crying and trying to catch her breath she was making a high pitch sound.  My daughter ended up getting an x-ray to make sure the food didn't end up in her lungs.  The doctor said infants get infections if the food goes into their lungs because body reacts differently than adults with something foreign in the lungs.  The x-ray showed nothing in the lungs, so that was good news.

After the choking incident, my hubby and I enrolled in a CPR class right away at a local hospital.  I've taken a lot of different classes in my life and this is the most important one that I've taken.  We learned both infant CPR and Adult/Child CPR.  We also learned that 4 minutes of no oxygen is all it takes for brain damage to occur so it is really important to start CPR as soon as possible.  

The instructor was great and even told us how she has had to use it on her own son (from choking on oatmeal) and on her son's friend since kids love to run around with food in their mouths.  After she shared this, Mr. F1 and I didn't feel too bad about our incident.

I don't want anyone to go through what we did. Don't wait for something like this to happen for you to take a CPR class.  You should have no excuse for not taking the class that can save a life.

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