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Midwife’s new skills save baby Isabella’s life

05 August 2012

Health Care

Only weeks after gaining her certificate in resuscitating tiny babies, Southend University Hospital midwife Debbie Edwards found herself using those skills for real.

As Debbie went to check on seven-hours-old Isabella Humphrey, she noticed the tot was very pale and lifeless. Recalling the vital lessons she had learned on her course, Debbie rushed Isabella to a resuscitaire - a special table with oxygen, suction and other life-saving equipment - and called on a midwife colleague to summon the paediatric team.

Meanwhile, she went into automatic pilot, recalling each of the steps of the algorithm she had learned on the course. She had gone through two sets of inflation breaths before the team took over.

Debbie said: "It took about five minutes to get the baby stable so she could be transferred to the special care baby unit. Incredibly, the nurse I handed her over to there had also been on the same life support course."

Isabella's mum, Stacey, 19, who witnessed the entire drama, said: "It was so scary. The minute before she was fine in the cot next to me. The midwife looked at her and said she was a bit pale. Then stuff started coming out of her nose and mouth.

"I was screaming and crying because I didn't know what was happening."

Debbie said: "When you do these drills, you always worry if it will click into action when you really need it. But this gave me confidence in myself as well as a lot of job satisfaction."

Stacey, of Shoebury, who also has a three-year-old daughter, Gracie-Mai, said: "Debbie was amazing. She is our heroine and deserves huge praise. Isabella spent five days in hospital but is now getting on fine."