1-Year-Old Chokes on Grape, Found in Cardiac Arrest, Saved By Coral Springs Paramedics [Pediatric Emergency Standards, Inc.]

1-Year-Old Chokes on Grape, Found in Cardiac Arrest, Saved By Coral Springs Paramedics [Pediatric Emergency Standards, Inc.]

Paramedics attribute save to high quality training and the newly adopted Handtevy™ Pediatric Resuscitation System. When seconds matter, Coral Springs paramedics stay on scene to revive pediatric patients in cardiac arrest.

CORAL SPRINGS, FLA. — It’s every parents worst nightmare; the thought of their child choking on a piece of food that lodges in the upper airway. The sudden inability to breathe followed by cyanosis (bluish discoloration) is enough stress to freeze any parent in their tracks. That’s exactly what happened to 1-year-old Arianna of Coral Springs (FL) shortly after 1 pm in the quiet suburbs of Broward County. One moment she was chewing on a grape, and the next she couldn’t cry, not even a whisper – her airway was completely obstructed.

Her mother made a distress call to the Coral Springs 911 center, known regionally for their high quality and superior dispatch speed. Within seconds a signal was sent out to both police and fire-rescue personnel to respond to an unresponsive child. The nationally accepted scene arrival time is 8 minutes, yet this unit arrived in less than 4 minutes, a critical time savings, with unquestionable importance, especially with a young life at stake.

Lt. Jonathan Robbins of the Coral Springs Fire Department led the 3-person team that responded to the apartment complex where a bystander was already performing CPR on the limp and lifeless child in the parking lot. He recalls his crew’s state of mind as “confident and ready,” especially since the recent implementation of an innovative pediatric resuscitation system, The Handtevy™ Pediatric Box, at the Department. Using the system, team members had an assigned role prior to arrival, and were fluent with appropriate equipment sizing and medication dosing. Robbins and his crew followed Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) guidelines and rapidly retrieved the partially chewed up grape from Arianna’s airway, which had already filled with blood and vomit. “Whereas most EMS systems around the country rush to the hospital with sick children due to provider anxiety, the Handtevy™ System has given our personnel the confidence to remain on scene until the child has been revived,” said Division Chief Juan Cardona.

The immediate rush of air that filled little Arianna’s lungs signaled the start of what would end in a positive outcome for the again vibrant 1-year-old. “I am so grateful for what these wonderful people have done for my daughter and for my family,” said Arianna’s mother. Coral Springs’ Fire Chief Frank Babinec is proud of the Handtevy™ mantra carried by his paramedics – “Restart the Heart Before You Depart” – and attributes this life saved to a high quality system of care, which he has personally been involved in for over 20 years. Today Arianna is 100% neurologically intact after a short stay at Northwest Hospital and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. Her mother, now a strong advocate for basic life support classes, is thankful to have her child back in her arms. The family and the Coral Springs Paramedics will be reunited at the Fire Station in March and Chief Babinec will present his personnel with an award.

About Coral Springs Fire Department
The mission of the Coral Springs Fire Department, led by Fire Chief Frank Babinec, is to assist the public in the protection of life and property by minimizing the impact of fires, medical emergencies or events that affect the community and environment. The Department responds to all types of fire-related emergencies within the City and provides emergency medical care to victims of sudden illness or injury. The City of Coral Springs owns and operates a nationally accredited 911 dispatch center and enjoys a regional reputation for rapid, high quality dispatch. Contact Division Chief Juan Cardona for more information at [email protected].


11870 W. State Rd. 84, Suite C5
Davie. FL 33325
Phone: (954) 944-1114
Fax: 954 653 3792


Pediatric Emergency Standards Inc. does not make clinical or medical decisions.  The Handtevy System is intended to be utilized as a guide only.  Provider’s experience and training should be the final determinant of clinical treatment decisions.

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