Deputy clears airway, saves life of newborn girl

He started CPR on a non-breathing baby born at home with a midwife, but realized her airway was blocked with mucus

By Lisa Leinberger
The Spokesman-Review

SPOKANE, Wash. — A Spokane County sheriff’s deputy saved a newborn’s life Friday by clearing her airway and performing CPR until paramedics arrived on the scene.

Deputy Randy Watts was near the 1200 block of South Fox Road when he heard a 1:38 a.m. call that a woman had delivered a baby who was not breathing.

When Watts arrived, the father met him at the door, taking Watts to the bathroom where the mother had just delivered a baby girl with the help of a midwife. The infant was purple, not breathing and didn’t have a pulse, a news release from the Sheriff’s Office said.

Watts performed rescue breathing and chest compressions, but realized the baby’s airway was blocked with mucus. Watts placed her on his forearm and started back strikes until she spit up a large amount of fluid from her nose and mouth. Once the fluid was discharged, the rescue breaths became more effective and the color began to return to the newborn’s skin.

Watts continued CPR until paramedics arrived. A Spokane Valley fire captain and Watts continued CPR while a midwife cut the umbilical cord and administered oxygen. Watts carried the baby to the ambulance and continued chest compressions while en route. Halfway to the hospital, the baby was able to maintain her heart rate and attempted to breathe on her own several times.

At the hospital, the baby had regained her color, had a strong pulse and was off her ventilator and stable before Watts left the hospital.


©2014 The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
  1. Tags
  2. Airway Management
  3. Baby delivery
  4. Birth
  5. Police

Recommended Airway Management

Join the discussion