(RepublicanView.org) – A teenager who had learned CPR in school used it to save the life of a 3-year-old relative who almost drowned at a Thanksgiving Day party. Toddler Maxine Atkinson stumbled into a swimming pool during celebrations in California and was discovered by an uncle around 4 minutes later when she was unresponsive and floating face down.
The uncle shouted for help, causing 15-year-old Madison Atkinson to leap to the rescue. She performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the child until she opened her eyes and began breathing. Paramedics were stunned to hear that Madison was just 15 and said she had performed a miracle.
On TODAY, her mother Kirsten said she was incredibly proud of her daughter, who remained “calm, cool, collected” throughout the frightening incident. The teenager took a sports medicine class at school and said, “I was just trying to remember what I’m supposed to do. I was just like, let’s get this baby alive — no one else knew CPR.”
The toddler fully recovered, and the teen’s mother reflected on the day, saying Madison gave the family a reason to be thankful and remember “how precious life is and how things can change in the blink of an eye.”
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a life-saving technique used to restart the heart and restore breathing. The American Heart Association describes the process as pressing on the chest with hard and fast compressions while intermittently breathing into the patient’s mouth and holding their nose.
Compressions are applied at the rate of 100 to 120 per minute, stopping after every 30 to tilt the patient’s head backward – clearing the airway – and exhaling into the mouth.
According to The American Heart Association, around 70% of Americans would not feel confident or comfortable giving someone CPR, yet it saves thousands of lives per year. According to Heart.org, around 45% of cardiac arrest victims survived in 2014 if CPR was performed by a bystander.
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