Yesterday afternoon, I was hanging out in the swimming pool at our new apartment. I was chatting with a 21 year-old kid about the NBA, Miami Heat and college hoops when I heard a screech from the other side of the pool. As I looked over, I saw our nanny frantically reaching for something. As I approached, I realized what happened: a young girl drowned in the pool and was laying on the bottom.
I quickly waded over. A young Haitian man reached down and grabbed her head and I took hold of her feet. We raced to the edge of the pool and placed her limp, blue body on the cement. I immediately checked for a pulse, found none and then gave two mouth-to-mouth breaths. I instructed the Haitian man to start chest compressions but, unfortunately, he did not know what to do. I yelled “Lisa!!!” at the top of my lungs and proceeded on my own.
Lisa arrived quickly and, within seconds, we had an effective, well coordinated resuscitation going. After a few more rounds of 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15 and breathe and breathe we checked our little patient again. She was still blue with no pulse and had begun bleeding from her mouth. “This is not good”, I thought out loud.
However, we continued. After every breath, I wiped away her bloody vomit and we kept going.
Then, at about 4 minutes, I had trouble getting a breath in….. I pulled away and to my surprise, she had a little wimper followed by a shallow breath. Then another breath, this one deeper. Then another and she started to turn pink. Then, after about 60 seconds, she opened her eyes and started crying.
What a relief!
I looked up and realized a crowd had gathered. More than 30 faces were in shock, most with tears running down their cheeks.
After a little crowd control, we loaded our patient into a car and headed for the hospital. Before reaching the gates of the facility, the little girl was coherent and began talking like a normal little child.
It is amazing how simple Basic Life Support can save a life.