Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Saves Boy’s Life Using the Handtevy [WSVN South Florida]

Aug 25, 2014 | Broadcast

WSVN — We hear about it too often in South Florida. A young child is found floating in a backyard pool. Now fire rescue crews have something new to save lives. 7’s Lynn Martinez shows us how this timely treatment saved a little boy from drowning.

It was supposed to be a happy day for Jamilet Garcia.

Jamilet Garcia: “I had just got back in town and I decided to cook for my parents.”

Her two and a half year old son ran outside to play.

Jamilet Garcia: “My father came in the house and he said, ‘Did you see Alejandro?’ And I said, ‘He’s outside with you.'”

They found the little boy lifeless in the backyard swimming pool.

Jamilet Garcia: “I started getting hysterical and I started running down the street screaming and hollering for somebody to help me.”

When paramedics got to the scene, her son wasn’t breathing.

Jamilet Garcia: “I started telling them, ‘Please, please save my baby. Save my baby.'”

When Miami-Dade Fire Rescue got the call, they jumped into action.

Christina Butzer: “Anxiety level is always a little bit higher when we’re dealing with children.”

But this call was different.

Christina Butzer: “This was the first time myself and my entire crew has used the Handtevy system.”

That system is crucial when it comes to saving drowning victims. They need a shot of epinephrine to start their hearts but the dosage for a child depends on his or her size.

Dr. Marc Grossman: “We have just a few minutes before the brain loses so much oxygen that it will never function normally again.”

The Handtevy system, named after local ER Doctor Peter Antevy, gives paramedics the specific dosage information before they even get to the scene so they don’t waste precious seconds.

Dr. Marc Grossman: “We know that generally speaking, a 1-year-old should be about 10 kilograms, a 3-year-old should be 15, a 5-year-old 20 and so forth.”

In Alejandro’s case, he had been underwater for seven minutes, but the crew was prepared.

Dr. Marc Grossman: “They got his pulse back in a few minutes and those few minutes are obviously critical.”

Alejandro was rushed to Jackson’s Trauma Center where he was on a ventilator for nine days. He suffered brain damage and had to relearn how to walk and talk.

Jamilet Garcia: “Something as simple as saying mommy he had to learn to do all over again.”

But Alejandro is making a lot of progress.

Both he and his mom are grateful for the paramedics who saved his life.

Jamilet Garcia: “For going beyond the call of duty for service that saved my son’s life.”

A special plaque presented to the paramedics from Station 38 who are clearly moved by Alejandro’s miraculous recovery.

Christina Butzer: “It’s an amazing feeling, it’s the reason why most of us sign onto this job.

Dr. Marc Grossman: “I think this is one of the most valuable things we could have done for our department to help save children’s lives.”

After almost losing her baby forever, Jamilet is overjoyed to have him in her arms.

Jamilet garcia: “Miracles are happening everyday and my son is living proof that God is still performing miracles.”

In addition to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, the cities of Miami, Coral Gables, Key Biscayne and Hialeah have implemented the Handtevy system.

11870 W. State Rd. 84
Suite C5
Davie. FL 33325
Phone: (866) 867-3192
Fax: (954) 653-3792

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DISCLAIMER: 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.