TAMC medic saves baby in the Bronx

| May 1, 2015 | 1 Comment
 Jim Guzior, Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs Pfc. Lewis Garcia, a medic in TAMC’s Medical/Surgical Telemetry Ward, performs his normal duties. On leave in New York City, he used his newfound medical skills to save an infant’s life.

Jim Guzior, Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs
Pfc. Lewis Garcia, a medic in TAMC’s Medical/Surgical Telemetry Ward, performs his normal duties. On leave in New York City, he used his newfound medical skills to save an infant’s life.

Capt. John Pernot
7202nd Medical Support Unit
Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs

 

TRIPLER ARMY MEDICAL CENTER — We have all been there. Just out of school, when our minds are brimming with new knowledge and our spirit refreshed with a new sense of purpose.

Such was the case when Tripler Army Medical Center’s own Pfc. Lewis Garcia heard that call.

It was a sweltering summer day on the crowded borough streets of New York City’s Bronx. A recent graduate of the (68W) medical specialist program, Garcia was spending quality time with friends and family before beginning the travel to his first duty station, at TAMC. Unbeknownst to him, this day was going to need a Soldier medic.

A passenger in a small car, lost in NYC, on an unfamiliar street, Garcia wasn’t looking for another problem to add to his ongoing list, but one found him. A panicked man was running down the street carrying an infant.

“Somebody help my baby! Is anyone medical?” asked the distraught man.

Garcia heard the call and thought, “I don’t want to get involved, but I have to.” He exited the vehicle and said the words that have brought hope to those in medical emergencies since before the Civil War: “I’m a medic, I can help.”

Garcia took the infant, but wasn’t sure what to do at first. The advanced individual training for an Army medic isn’t geared toward infant lifesaving measures. Garcia would’ve felt much more at ease with an adult patient, but a sick baby was the hand he was dealt this day and he would have to search the catacombs of his mind for the life-saving measures to help the infant survive.

Basic life support was in order; circulation, airway, breathing.

“The baby was alert and breathing, but he was working hard to breathe. He felt really hot, too,” said Garcia.

He activated the emergency medical system, and a city dispatcher gave him instructions on what to do until the paramedics arrived. Garcia took measures to cool down the baby, which lessened the baby’s labored breathing.

The paramedics arrived and took the infant’s temperature — 104 degrees. They believed the baby had suffered a febrile seizure, a condition that can occur in children with fever (greater than 100.4 degrees) typically between 6 months and 5 years old. The baby and mother were taken to the hospital.

Garcia learned something about himself that day.

“This situation showed me that I wasn’t going to be one of those who bail out. I didn’t panic. I was able to stay calm in a stressful situation,” Garcia said.

Garcia’s story reached TAMC commander Col. David K. Dunning, who recognized Garcia’s display of courage and leadership with a commander’s coin. Even better, the baby recovered without any complications.

Garcia continues to develops his medical knowledge and confidence, and hopes his calm demeanor will serve him well in the field of battle if he ever has to answer that call.

 

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  1. Ricky Rescue says:

    Cute story, but let’s get some facts right. First, the new order of CPR is C-A-B: COMPRESSION, Airway and Breathing. not circulation, sure a minor error, but though minuscule in size, lends to the integrity of the author. Second, a febrile seizure, has no relation to the temperature but is directly related to how fast the temperature spikes. I’ve seen kids spike and seize at 99.0. So again your lack of research shows lack of integrity to write a story without sensationalizing it for the sake of just doing so. Turning an ordinary situation into one of significance. BZ to the new kid on the block!

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