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Infant CPR Training Program Helps Mom Save Her Son

When Renee Ellison, 33, of Prince Frederick, learned infant CPR in CHMC’s Family Birth Center after delivering son, Miles, little did she realize that skill set would soon be needed to save her son’s life.

Last year, CalvertHealth Medical Center became the first hospital in the state of Maryland to formally initiate the American Heart Association’s Infant CPR Anytime® Training Program - aimed at educating parents on lifesaving techniques before they leave the hospital with their baby. In addition to the on-site training, new parents also take home a training DVD and practice manikin so they can share the knowledge with other family members or caregivers. “Our goal is to train 100 percent of parents on what to do if a child is choking, nonresponsive or not breathing – before they leave the hospital,” said President and CEO Dean Teague. “So important, in fact, the medical center covers the entire cost of the kit,” he added.

On September 30, 2019, Ellison put the training she received into action when her son, Miles, was unable to breathe. “I was home alone with Miles, watching as he played on the living room floor – just a few feet away from me. One minute he was happily playing, the next, he was in distress – unable to breathe. Panic set in immediately and I realized there was no one to help in that moment. It was only me,” recalled Ellison, who delivered Miles at CHMC in March 2019.

Baby Miles was choking and after several attempts, Renee was able to dislodge the piece of plastic from his airway and then remove the object from his mouth. “I am so unbelievably grateful I was required to receive this training. As a brand-new mom, I was exhausted and felt a little silly having to perform CPR on the dummy baby before I could be discharged from the hospital. In retrospect, I know that motherhood is a job and all jobs require some training and CPR is training you should have right off the bat!”

As a result of this incident, Ellison and her partner, Keith, are both becoming CPR certified and will require all caregivers to be certified as well. They are also utilizing the DVD and manikin they brought home with them from the hospital to train Miles’ older brother, Kaleb, age 10, what to do in an emergency. “Babies and children are not the only ones who choke. I hope that becoming CPR certified will allow me to be an asset to anyone around me who is in need,” said Ellison.
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