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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bystander saves boy, 4, from near-drowning

[Look for the pop quiz question below the article.]

Mom wants to say thanks, warn others
Written by
Sarah Eddington

Brandy West says she hopes she can one day thank the person who saved her 4-year-old son after he nearly drowned in an apartment pool this week.

West's son Jamarian was at the bottom of an 8-foot pool for what doctors believe could have been 10 minutes before anyone discovered him.

West said her 24-year-old sister was babysitting Jamarian on Tuesday and took him with her to an apartment complex pool. West, who was working, said she heard later that there were several other adults in the pool, but no one noticed Jamarian had gone under until someone tripped over him in the deep end.

West said a bystander pulled Jamarian out and administered CPR. He was then taken to St. Francis Medical Center where he was placed on a ventilator.

Aristoteles Pena-Miches, a pediatric neurologist at St. Francis Medical Center, said Jamarian was treated aggressively and transferred to the ICU.

"We were concerned because a near drowning can cause not only damage to the brain but can damage the lungs," he said. "To my surprise, once the lungs were stable, they took the tubes out and he was able to get up and start playing with the flashlights right away. We were very happy."

Doctors discharged Jamarian from the hospital Friday afternoon with no permanent lung or brain damage.

But Pena-Miches said it was a close call, and the family was lucky that someone at the pool knew CPR.

"We encourage everyone to learn CPR because you never know when you're going to need it," he said. "Anybody with a pool or babysitting children should have instructions for life support."

Pena-Miches said summer is when the most drowning accidents occur, and people should take necessary precautions when taking children around water.

LaVonne LeBlanc, director of administration at the Northeast Louisiana Chapter of the Red Cross, said CPR and first aid are crucial skills for summertime.

"In the summer, there are a lot more outdoor activities, so CPR and first aid are so important," she said. "Things like heat illnesses and allergic reactions are so much greater in the summertime. All those things are covered in our first aid class."

The Red Cross offers CPR certification and first aid classes year round. It also offers swimming lessons earlier in the year.

"You're never too young to start swimming lessons," LeBlanc said. "By starting them young, you eliminate some of that fear of water."

Meade O'Boyle, a pediatrician at St. Francis Medical Center, said accidents happen rapidly.

"It is so essential if you have a kid, you have to know exactly where that child is at all times," she said.

West said her son should have been more carefully monitored, and she is thankful he survived.

"I'm still searching for the man who gave my son CPR," she said. "I want to squeeze him and hug him and let him know how grateful we are."


Suppose you were the person who found the child. Suppose that you have been administering CPR for five minutes, the ambulance wasn't there yet, and another bystander brought you an adult AED. Would you use an adult AED on a four year old?


[NB: Channel 3000 has an over-reaching "do not redistribute" policy. It's likely not enforceable, but I don't want to have to waste the time arguing with them. The URL for the story appears below.]

Death at swimming practice