Nurse Saves Life of 3-Month-Old Who Stopped Breathing on Flight: "My Heart Just Dropped"

Nurse Saves Life of 3-Month-Old Who Stopped Breathing on Flight: "My Heart Just Dropped"

She rushed to help the baby and later said that it was a collective effort of the passengers on the flight that saved the baby.

When a newborn stopped breathing on their journey to Florida, a retired nurse stepped in to save her life. On Thursday, the Spirit Airlines aircraft had been in the air for about 30 minutes when a 3-month-old suffered a medical emergency, reports WOFL. WOFL meteorologist Ian Cassette said he was a few seats behind the infant, called Anjelé when the incident occurred, and he documented it on Twitter. He wrote in his tweet, "On my flight back from Pittsburgh to Orlando, a baby stopped breathing three rows ahead of me. Thankfully a nurse (Tamara Panzino) was able to get the baby to breathe again." He posted a video of the child and her dad smiling as everyone cheered the nurse.




Panzino, who was flying from Pittsburgh to Florida for a Caribbean cruise out of Port Canaveral, told WESH that she was resting with her headphones on and a book in her hand when she heard a flight attendant mention that an infant aboard was not breathing. She then heard a loudspeaker announcement, "Is there a doctor onboard?" According to Panzino, she got up and went to the back of the plane.

She said, "I had no idea whether the baby was choking if the airway was clear. I did not know what I was dealing with. Saw an infant. The head was back. Blue lips and her skin turning blue. Clearly in distress. Not breathing. And my heart just dropped." Despite the fact that Panzino is a retired nurse, her 20 years of expertise were invaluable. A series of inquiries showed that the youngster had simply stopped breathing while lying down.




She added, "Gave daddy the baby. He held it while I did a sternal rub, kind of an aggressive shake of the chest. Get the baby to react by pinching it. Trying to make it cry or take a deep breath." 

"The baby’s color started looking better. I was so glad and kept shaking it aggressively." Panzino does not consider herself a hero, but rather feels the rescue was the result of a collaborative effort. "Spirit had everything we needed right onboard, and before we knew, within a few minutes, the baby was home free. The baby was going to be good. The color came back. I heard breathing sounds. I heard (a) heartbeat. Oh, my gosh, total relief," she said. 




Spirit Airlines expressed gratitude to Panzino and the aircraft crew. A spokesperson from the airlines said, "Our Flight Attendants are trained to respond to medical emergencies onboard and utilize several resources, including communicating with our designated on-call medical professionals on the ground, using onboard medical kits, and receiving assistance from credentialed medical professionals traveling on the flight," 

Panzino told WESH, "It’s not a hero thing. It’s a community coming together and everyone volunteering to help with what their knowledge can do. I’m glad I was there." 




Cover Image Source: Twitter/Ian Cassette FOX 35