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KDMC Respiratory Therapist Honored For Lifesaving CPR

HowardA KDMC respiratory therapist was recognized recently for his quick thinking in rescuing a 11-year-old girl while vacationing in the Outer Banks, N.C. Craig Howard and his wife Jolinda and two children were vacationing in the Outer Banks in May, along with a friend of their daughter. The two girls were relaxing in a hot tub when the friend's hair got tangled in the tub's filtration system, pulling her underwater. The Howards' daughter screamed for help, and Craig pulled the young girl from the water and immediately began performing CPR.

The child was flown via helicopter to the closest children's hospital, Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters. (There is no connection between that hospital and KDMC in Ashland.) The girl recovered fully from her injuries, thanks to Craig's lifesaving actions.

The medical team at Children's Hospital commented that most children suffer from cracked ribs and bruising during CPR, but the young girl had neither complications. Also, patients who suffer from aspiration pneumonia from chemicals in hot tubs and pools often have lung damage from the chemicals, but the girl suffered no damage to her lungs. The medical team credited Craig’s quick response providing respirations and keeping her airways clean during this event.

Craig is a 10-year team member at King's Daughters. He is a team leader in the Respiratory Therapy Department, where he is known for his quiet demeanor and a keen focus on patient care. He also recently helped his department by being an Epic Super User, assisting his team members in learning our new electronic records system. He also has been nominated for the medical center's Emerging Leader Program, which is designed to help cultivate and encourage leadership skills.

Note: Since two of the people involved in this story are minors, their names have not been shared in this story.

The national Safe Kids organization says 285 children died from accidental drowning in a swimming pool in 2003. Every year, thousands more are treated in emergency rooms for near-drownings. Most young children who drown in swimming pools were last seen in the home, had been missing from sight for less than five minutes and were in the care of one or both parents at the time of the drowning. Entrapment occurs when part of a child’s body becomes attached to a drain because of the powerful suction of a pool or hot tub’s filtration system. it also can occur when a child’s hair or swimsuit gets tangled in the drain or on an underwater object, such as a ladder. 

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