A mum who saved her baby’s life by performing CPR has spoken out in support of a new TV campaign showing how to resuscitate infants.
Mother-of-two Victoria Dawson from Ruskington, saved her four-week-old son Eddie when he began choking, went limp and stopped breathing during a feed.
Eddie, who had been born eight weeks prematurely, was breastfeeding in the incident in October last year.
Victoria, 30, had learned how to perform baby CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) in her job as a nurse – and is calling for all parents to learn the life-saving skills.
“Eddie had been doing really well and we were allowed to come home three weeks after he was born,” she said.
“I’d been ok with breast-feeding, and felt everything was fine. Exactly a week after we had come home, I was feeding Eddie and heard him cough and splutter.
“I stopped the feed straight away, at which point Eddie just became all floppy and the colour drained from his face.
“I shouted to my partner Alex for help, I then put my finger gently into Eddie’s mouth to see if there was any milk still there, and gave him some firm but gentle back slaps – but he was still floppy and I could see he wasn’t breathing.”
Victoria then administered rescue breaths while Alex was on the phone to the emergency services. She then put Eddie on the floor and started CPR. After a couple of compressions, he began to respond slowly.
“It was all very quick but it felt like a lifetime for him to respond and for paramedics to arrive,” said Victoria. “Eddie was then given oxygen and his colour came back. He was kept in hospital overnight and we came home the next day.
“The experience was terrifying and I must have cried for two days solid after it happened because of the shock. I was very anxious with feeding afterwards and still worry now, but we’re getting there slowly.”
Last month St John Ambulance research revealed that only a quarter of parents would know what to do if their baby stopped breathing.
“Thank God for my training that night,” said Victoria. “I had performed CPR on adults, but never thought I would have to use it on my own child.
“We really thought in that moment we had lost him but luckily my instincts kicked in.
“I was lucky I had prior knowledge but many mums and dads don’t, so it’s important they learn.’
CPR for babies is different from adult CPR, in that only two fingers should be used to give pumps to the baby’s chest and its nose and mouth must be covered by the rescuer’s mouth to give life-saving puffs.
l To watch a baby CPR video, visit www.sja.org.uk.