Knowing how to do CPR is one of the major elements in our Mini First Aid classes. Knowing what to do and acting quickly can literally save your child’s life.
Katrina Scanlan hoped she would never have to use the CPR she had practised during her Mini First Aid Class. When her 8 month old son Arlo became unresponsive and stopped breathing however, she had to act fast. We spoke to Katrina about what happened that day.
Katrina, can you describe what happened?
Arlo had a slight cold and had not slept very well the night before. He had fallen asleep that afternoon and so I popped him down to snooze and went into another room. When I came back in, I just knew he didn’t look right. His chest wasn’t moving and his lips had gone pale blue.
What did you do?
I ran over to Arlo, picked him up and patted him on the back but he was unresponsive, so I put him on the floor. I put my ear to his mouth and looked at his chest but he still wasn’t breathing so I gave him rescue breaths and started CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). After 3 rounds of breaths and chest compressions, Arlo came round and then he vomited all over me! I called an Ambulance and we were taken straight to hospital.
It must have been so scary.
Without a doubt, it is the worst thing I have ever been through. I thought he was dead. When I called the ambulance afterwards, I was crying hysterically as it hit me what had just happened. When I was actually doing CPR, the adrenalin kicked in. It is an experience I would not want any parents to have to go through.
Did your Mini First Aid class help you stay calm do you think?
100%. I panicked a little at the start, but then my knowledge kicked in and I focused all my energy on saving my son. I actually cracked one of Arlo’s ribs because when I started chest compressions, I used one hand. I quickly remembered learning that I needed to use 2 fingers for chest compressions on a baby, so switched to doing this instead.
Did Arlo make a full recovery?
Thankfully yes. He is crawling now and I just can’t imagine life without him. He is a big foodie and has this adorable high pitched scream.
Do you know what caused Arlo to stop breathing?
The doctors think that Arlo had actually been sick whilst lying down which had caused him to choke on his vomit. I had checked his airway before doing CPR however and I could not see anything, so it is still a bit of a mystery to me.
What advice would you give to parents, following your experience?
Trust your gut. I knew something wasn’t quite right with Arlo. I said to myself it was just a cold, but I should have listened to my instinct as a Mum.
What would you say to any parents who have not done a Mini First Aid class?
Do it now. Don’t put it off. It isn’t expensive and I fitted my class around my family, by doing it in the evening. It upsets me to think that people lose their children every day because they don’t know first aid. I had actually won the class in an Instagram competition and I can’t bear to think what would have happened had I not gone.
If you would like to sign up for a Baby & Child Mini First Aid class, CLICK HERE