Photo of the Week: Paramedics work together to save baby's life in New Orleans ER

MedExpress and Air Evac Lifeteam Paramedic Lane Abshire was recognized by the Louisiana Ambulance Alliance for his part in reviving the 18-day-old


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This week's Photo of the Week features Louisiana Paramedic Lane Abshire, of MedExpress and Air Evac Lifeteam, who was recently recognized by the Louisiana Ambulance Alliance for his part in saving a baby at a New Orleans emergency room, through a team effort with other paramedics and hospital personnel. 

Louisiana Paramedic Lane Abshire works full-time with MedExpress and part-time with Air Evac Lifeteam.
Louisiana Paramedic Lane Abshire works full-time with MedExpress and part-time with Air Evac Lifeteam. (Photo/Louisiana Ambulance Alliance)

The Louisiana Ambulance Alliance shared the following account of the incident:

Paramedic Lane Abshire was standing in the waiting room of Tulane Medical Center emergency room with a stable patient on his stretcher, when a distressed mother rushed in with a pulseless 18-day-old baby boy. The child was limp and gray in color, and another nearby paramedic, Ashley Whittington, began performing chest compressions.

Abshire joined Whittington and continued compressions on the baby while the nursing staff and doctors flooded the room with a crash cart. Abshire knew to ask for a BVM for the baby, and when the doctor arrived at the scene he connected the BVM to oxygen and began ventilations. A nurse placed an EZ-IO on the bed so Abshire grabbed it and obtained IO access in the baby's left tibia. A broselow tape subsequently arrived and amidst the chaos, the baby was initially measured wrong on the broselow. As Whittington and Abshire began to slow things down, Abshire was able to re-measure the child appropriately, which allowed the nursing staff to start administering appropriate doses of epinephrine. 

Communication began to streamline between the paramedics and the nursing staff. A nurse stood behind Abshire documenting times for interventions as he pushed the first dose of epinephrine. The baby was in PEA. Abshire went back to compressions as the doctor was getting ready for the first intubation attempt, but the intubation was unsuccessful. After a second unsuccessful attempt at intubation, Abshire asked to take a look. He requested a towel to pad the baby's shoulders in an effort to create a neutral position for intubation. The third intubation attempt was successful with mild cricoid pressure applied by NOEMS, and immediately they saw positive colorimetric color change with ventilation. 

After 5 epi's, the baby's color changed from gray to pink. NOEMS team stopped compressions and Abshire checked the baby for a pulse. The baby's carotid and brachial pulses were bounding. He had an organized rhythm. They had ROSC. Abshire and partner, Angel Richer, transferred the baby to the New Orleans Children’s Hospital PICU and turned over care with stable vital signs and an SpO2 of 100% and EtCO2 of 44. 

After the incident Abshire wrote, “We had accomplished something beautiful in a moment where things really weren't looking great for that baby … There are so many people who deserve recognition in this. In that moment, it wasn't about the color of a uniform, or the initials that rested behind someone's name. It wasn't about whether you were in scrubs or boots. It was a collective effort where everyone was selfless. Everyone slowed down and focused on the tasks at hand. There were no power struggles in the ER that day, which unfortunately exists. It was a cohesive effort by a team of clinicians from all different levels of experience and certification, all with different strengths and weaknesses, who found common ground around an 8-lb baby. I am proud to have been a small part of an outstanding effort, and I am better for having been surrounded by everyone in that room. I do not know what the outcome of that baby is or will be, but I am certain that every single person in the ER room that day gave that little fella his best chance to do great things in life. Every person there laid their absolute best out there that day, and they should all be proud to have answered that call.”

Lane Abshire is a full-time paramedic with MedExpress and part-time with Air Evac Lifeteam. At the time of this incident, he and his partner were imbedded with New Orleans EMS assisting with 911 operations due to a large percentage of their force down with COVID-19 or self-quarantining with secondary symptoms. 

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