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Scott County CNA student saves 9-month-old from choking

Melanie McMurray • Oct 5, 2018 at 8:29 AM

GATE CITY — Joules Bagienski, a certified nursing assistant student at Scott County Career and Technical Center, experienced firsthand that learning skills in class can be lifesaving.

Along with all her fellow health science classmates, Bagienski has been training to be certified in basic life support and CPR. About three days after Bagienski was certified, she had the opportunity to put her skills to the test and save a life.

Bagienski and her family were eating dinner recently when she noticed that her 9-month-old cousin, Oliver, was red and his expression had dramatically changed.

“I quickly turned him over and performed back blows to remove the food he was choking on,” Bagienski said. “After vomiting once and the food being removed, he then turned a grayish blue color and stopped crying. I assumed he was starting to aspirate, so trying to think quickly on my feet, I proceeded to perform the back blows again, resulting in him vomiting again, after which he cried from being scared and recovered without any problems.

“I am so glad I was able to have the training and that I thought quickly enough to be able to perform the Heimlich maneuver on such a young child,” Bagienski said. “I really don’t know what would have happened if I had not been there. None of the others would have known what to do.”

Farrah Lane, the CNA instructor at Scott County Career and Technical Center, said, “You never know when you could potentially be faced with a life-threatening situation such as choking or cardiac arrest. The importance of knowing these skills and being comfortable using them in an emergency situation can determine the difference between life and death.

“In this particular situation, Joules was able to help (her cousin) in a time of need,” Lane added. “I am very proud and thankful that she was able to calmly use the skills she learned without hesitation.”

Scott County Career and Technical Center’s health science programs — Introduction to Health and Medical, Certified Nursing Assistant and the newly added Sports Medicine — all cover important lifesaving skills, including CPR, first aid training, patient care skills and healthcare knowledge.

These skills are not only vital in the healthcare industry but have proven to be transferable and equally valuable in everyday situations.

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