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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — A Bibb County deputy is hailed a hero after saving a choking infant Wednesday morning.
Officials offered tips on infant CPR procedures, in case of an emergency.
“I looked at her skin, it was red or purplish,” said Bibb Sheriff’s Patrol Sgt. Reginald Washington. “Her tongue was sticking out, and her fingers were clenched. She absolutely wasn’t moving.”
Washington responded to the unresponsive baby call Wednesday morning.
Upon arrival at the Ponce De Leon Circle residence, they found a 5-week-old infant not breathing.
“I noticed a black female standing in the driveway. She was flagging me down, and I can see she was in some kind of distress. She was hysterical,” said the sergeant.
Immediately, Washington made contact with the baby. He turned her over and started giving palm blows to the infant’s back, clearing the baby girl’s airway.
“It lounged what I realized was either cereal or some type of formula inside of her mouth. She started crying,” said Washington.
Washington says he arrived at the home in less than a minute.
EMS training coordinator Jimmy Kersey deemed the sergeant’s fast thinking as crucial. He says the more time a patient is down, the less chance there is to revive them.
“Brain cells start to die in 4-6 minutes. If you wait that long, there can be issues of getting that patient back,” said Kersey.
Kersey says if a child stops breathing or has no pulse, call 911 and begin to perform CPR. He also says if a baby is choking but responsive, there is another step.
“We still do chest compressions and push on their chest five times and then we roll them over and tap their backs five times,” said Kersey.
EMS Medical Director Dr. Wiley Jordan with Atrium Health Navicent says if your child is choking, look into their mouth and try to remove what’s blocking the airway.
And if that doesn’t work, begin chest compression or back-patting. He says one of the most important things about CPR is not stopping.
“When you start it, don’t stop until help arrives,” said Jordan.
Washington never stopped administering CPR, even after EMTs arrived.