Dispatcher coaches mom on CPR, saves child
The Cameron County 911 call center gets nearly 100 calls per week.
On Monday night, they got a call from a frantic mother who found her one-year-old son unresponsive in the bathtub.
Cameron County Sheriff TMs Department Chief Deputy Gus Reyna said the woman was bathing her 3-year-old and the toddler, but left the room to get diapers and pajamas for the boys.
When she returned, she found the boy underwater.
South Texas Emergency Care Foundation Transportation Director Rene Perez said that when a child TMs heat stops, every minute is critical.
"Brain-death occurs between four and six minutes, Perez said, so from the time the heart stops, you have a very short time to start something."
The seasoned CPR certified dispatcher who received the call, took control of the situation and instructed the mother what to do.
"It's the difference between life and death, Juan Abriz, call center director said.
Perez adds that many times parents reject the dispatchers TM instructions to take action, because they're afraid to do more harm than good. However, but in this case, the mother's cooperation made is what made the difference.
"When someone is in a cardiac arrest condition, we're at the end stage - their heart stopped and we need to do something right now," Perez said.
A child can drown in as little as one inch of water.
It TMs never recommended to leave children unattended in a bathtub, pool, beach or other water sources.
Should a parent ever be faced with a life and death situation, there is one formula to keep in mind -- 30 chest compressions two breaths.
"We're going to be using two fingers (in the middle of the child TMs chest area, along the nipple line), and we're going to press down hard, and we want to do compressions until EMS rescuers get there," Perez said.
STEC responds to cases of children choking about twice a week, Perez said, and parents should also keep in mind the life-saving action for choking - five compressions and five back blows.