As you probably know, my Dad choked to death last year. In a parking lot. So far from the hospital that he was essentially gone before the paramedics could reach him.
His cause of death has left me craving information about how people choke, and how others might save them. When I heard the news story about local firemen using a tool to save a three-year-old from choking to death on a grape, I had to know more.
As I posted last week, the news editor at our local news radio station sent me the link to the article. A little girl swallowed a grape which got lodged in her windpipe. After eight minutes of EMT’s using the Heimlich and other normal means to remove the grape, they made a last-ditch effort to save her by sticking a suction tool down her throat and sucking the grape out! IT WORKED!
What kind of suction tool was it? I’d never heard of it before. I had to know more!
I sent an email to the Fire Chief in Keller Texas to find out exactly what kind of tool it was, and I was very happy that he responded to my email right away. Apparently, the tool was not meant to assist with choking victims. It was a normal tool that all ambulances carry, used by first-responders to suck saliva and vomit from a victim’s mouth. When nothing else had worked, the paramedics decided to use this tool to try to suck the grape out, and they were successful.
Much to their credit, these brave paramedics decided to do whatever they could to save a little girl’s life. They used their logic and brains and creativity to try something different, in the hopes that it might work. They apparently didn’t concern themselves with any possible legal consequences that might result from their unconventional method. They were just trying to save a three-year-old. And because of their creativity and will to save this child regardless of possible consequences, they were successful. The girl is alive and well, even after eight minutes without oxygen.
Hopefully, we can all learn a lesson from this incident. Sometimes we need to be creative, to think “outside the box”, to be unconcerned with litigious hazards. We need to be brave enough, and logical enough, and creative enough to do what it takes to get the job done. Period.
Thank you fire department in Keller Texas for saving this little girl’s life, and the lives of her family, and for teaching us all a lesson that we can use to make the world a better place!
(Picture from CBS 11 TV)