Preparation is priceless

Preparation is priceless

Quick actions by CNA saves baby’s life

Kassidy Owen, CNA

Community Home Health & Hospice’s Danielle Jacob, RN, and Kassidy Owen, CNA, were overlapping shifts at a patient’s home on an ordinary day earlier this year. It was business as usual as Danielle attended to the patient while Kassidy prepared pumpkin bread in the kitchen. But the peace was suddenly shattered with a harrowing scream. Kassidy sprang into action at the sound of screaming and banging on the front door.

“When I opened the door, a woman was standing there with a baby slumped over. I couldn’t tell if (the infant) was breathing or not,” said Kassidy, recalling the near-death experience.

The woman was frantic and unable to communicate in English, but her repetition of “Dorito” gave Kassidy enough clues to determine the baby was choking.

“Without hesitation, Kassidy took the baby and began infant Heimlich, turning the baby’s head down and (giving) forceful blows to the baby’s back,” Danielle recalls.

After a few blows the little one was finally gasping for air, crying and vomiting. Kassidy swept her mouth to see if she could remove whatever was irritating the babe’s throat.

“I wasn’t able to, but she was finally able to vomit it out,” Kassidy said. “It was a piece of plastic.”

While the mother only spoke Spanish, Kassidy was able to calm her down with the tone of her voice, letting her know that everything would be okay.

Experience on her toes

Kassidy’s been a CNA for five years and an EMT on the side for three years. She started at Community Home Health & Hospice three years ago.

She attributes her experience as an EMT for keeping her calm and knowing what to do in the stressful situation.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was scared,” Kassidy said, happy that everything turned out okay in the end. She wants others to learn from her experience by taking the time to learn CPR and the Heimlich maneuver. “Accidents happen but being prepared is priceless. You never know when you will need it.”

If you are interested in learning CPR visit redcross.org/take-a-class.

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