101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Tuesday, March 10

...for the choking infant/FMS response...


In all honesty when I hear this call go out I very rarely get worried. Reason being I've seen not even a handful of choking babies and it never comes in as a choking baby, always a recuscitation or unresponsive. I still take it seriously, but I also take a deep breath.

THE EMERGENCY

Mom called saying the infant is choking

THE ACTION

It's always comforting to climb off the ambulance to the choking and hear the baby crying.

We make your way past the new expensive stroller, past all the unused baby toys in the living room into the well apportioned baby's room where the cries are coming from and are met by our patient and our patient's...DAUGHTER.

According to mom the baby was feeding, leaned her head back and she stopped breathing for "at least 5 minutes." Applying the FMS scale of time (more on FMS in a moment) that converts to about 10-15 seconds. Sounds like she either fell asleep or as is normally the case, got too big of a gulp and went bradycardic for a short time, mimicing apnea. We do a full check on baby and everything looks great. Good color, scared of fireman, clean breath sounds, scared of firemen, O2 sat of 100 on room air, scared of firemen. Everything is checking out when we offer our transport she of course accepts.
Nothing wrong with that. I can't confirm the baby didn't aspirate food, so why not go see the general practitioner in the ER who doesn't handle Peds cases except in the ER. Sure, let's go.

The mother, my real patient, is shaking and nervous, acting much like her husband likely did the day baby was born.
I call this condition First Mother Syndrome or FMS.
This affliction is noted by a strong desire to disinfect anything and everything baby has or will touch. FMS sufferers see every sneeze as the flu, every spit up as cholic (which has nothing to do with vomit, but oh well) and every cry as an earache.
They are dedicated parents who are much better to their children than most parents I meet on the job. The Fellas (see glossary of terms) are even starting to become afflicted with FMS, which is hard to explain to folks who don't live near Fellas.

The entire transport was simple and baby eventaully calmed to rest on mom's shoulder, but mom never clamed, or stopped asking questions about why we weren't using the sirens, whether her Pediatrician will be able to make it in, will there be shots involved, just about every question you could imagine I had an answer for, but not the one she wanted.

So look out for the FMS sufferers, but make sure you have the right person, because mom's with sick kids are immune from FMS, they are in a panic for a good reason.

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