With COVID-19 closing public pools and keeping families close to home this summer, kids nationwide spent more time in backyard pools. In many communities, this resulted in more drownings, already the leading cause of accidental death in young children. Thanks to the skilled emergency care team at Sutter Delta Medical Center, one East Bay family was spared this tragedy.
On May 7, East Contra Costa Fire Protection District EMS responded to a report of a pediatric patient found unresponsive in a swimming pool. When they arrived, the boy was receiving CPR from a bystander. EMS located his pulse, began emergency breathing, then alerted Sutter Delta that they were in route with a critically ill pediatric patient.
Because the child’s heart rate suggested imminent danger of cardiac arrest, the ED called a pediatric code blue and, within seconds, sent out an overhead page stating the patient was two minutes out. This decision proved crucial because it enabled rapid mobilization of resources. Upon arrival, the patient was met by Sutter Delta’s resuscitation team and respiratory therapy, lab and radiology staffs, as well a pediatrician and pediatric nurses, who determined he was experiencing respiratory failure and needed immediate intubation.
Once stabilized, the patient was transferred to the pediatric intensive care unit at Children's Hospital Oakland, whose physicians noted that without critical care management by the Sutter Delta team, he would have died. Just a few days later, the boy was discharged home neurologically intact.
“When I heard that little man make auditory sounds, I had to choke back a burst of emotions,” says Jon Truelove, R.N., MSN, emergency department director at Sutter Delta. “It was amazing to watch this group rapidly and assuredly go about their job of saving him in such a quiet, calm and professional manner. I feel incredibly humbled and honored to be a part of such a dedicated team.”