Pamela Rauseo from Florida was driving with her five-month-old nephew, Sebastian, after a doctor's appointment when she noticed something strange happening to the baby. What she discovered when she stopped to find out what was going on was absolutely terrifying.
Like many other little babies, Sebastian hated being stuck in traffic, and he was screaming loudly during the first part of the car ride, according to NBC News. When the baby suddenly stopped crying, she knew something was terribly wrong. Sebastian wasn't breathing.
The baby was turning purple and couldn't breathe
Rauseo immediately thought to call 911, but couldn't collect her thoughts enough to do it. She got out of her car in the middle of traffic and started screaming for help. And, fortunately, help came.
One person who came to the rescue was a photographer from Miami Herald. He ran over and helped the distressed woman out, then took pictures of the situation. He told Today, "In this kind of situation you have to be a humanitarian first and then you go to journalism."
Rauseo was able to give her nephew CPR to keep him alive long enough to get him to the hospital. Once he was in the doctor's hands, Rauseo was finally able to relax. Little Sebastian survived and is doing well.
Why couldn't the baby breathe?
Dr. Oz interviewed Rauseo and Sebastian's mom, and the doctor revealed the reason for the baby's episode.
Sebastian had three cysts blocking his airway. His airway was smaller than a straw, but it should have been much larger for normal breathing. Once the doctors figured this out and removed the cysts, the baby was OK and able to breathe normally.
The importance of CPR
If Rauseo hadn't known how to do CPR, Sebastian wouldn't be alive today. She told Dr. Oz that she knew she had to do something, and was terrified she wouldn't be able to perform well enough to keep the baby alive. She wants everyone to know how important CPR is — it really does save lives.
Performing CPR on a baby
According to Mayo Clinic, you should call 911 before you start giving CPR, or someone near you should call. In situations where the person is unresponsive due to suffocation, "Begin CPR for one minute and then call 911 or the local emergency number."
When performing CPR on a baby, you should always see if they're responsive by gently touching them, but NEVER shake them. Make sure to call 911, or have someone close by call for you while you perform CPR.
According to Mayo Clinic, this is how you should perform CPR on a baby:
Compressions: Restore blood circulation
Lay the baby on their back on a flat, firm surface.
Draw an imaginary horizontal line between the baby's nipples. Put two fingers on one hand right below the line — this should be in the middle of the chest.
Gently compress the chest about 1.5 inches.
Count while you pump — you should pump 100 to 120 compressions per minute.
Airway: Clear the airway
Gently lift the baby's head back by lifting the chin with one hand and pushing down on the forehead with the other. This should be done after 30 compressions.
After 10 seconds or less, check the baby for breathing — look for chest motion, listen for breathing sounds and feel for breath on your skin.
Breathing: Breathe for the baby
Cover the baby's mouth and nose with your mouth.
Give two rescue breaths. These should be gentle and come from your cheeks, not from your lungs. Slowly breathe into the baby's mouth and watch to see if the chest rises. If it rises, repeat the breath. If not, repeat the steps to clear the airway, then give the second breath.
If the chest still doesn't rise, make sure the baby doesn't have anything in its mouth. If the baby is choking, perform first aid for a choking baby.
Give two breaths for every 30 chest compressions.
If you're alone, give CPR for about two minutes before calling for help. If someone is with you, have them call while you give CPR.
Give CPR until the baby shows signs of life or until medical professionals can take over.
While these are helpful guidelines, it's always a good idea to sign up for a CPR class so you can become certified. Having this skill could literally save someone's life — as it did with little Sebastian's.