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Friday, April 26, 2013

Emergency Services Award for Exemplary EMS Action on Rarely Seen Childbirth Incident

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

A pair of Prince George's County Fire/EMS Paramedics were recognized today for their skills while providing treatment to an adult female in active labor with an imminent delivery.  Fire Fighter/Medics John A. Bowman and Kacie E. Pressley were recognized at a ceremony held at the Prince George's Hospital Center where this incident came to a sucesful and happy conclusion.

On Saturday, February 29, 2013, Bowman and Pressley were the crew on board the Paramedic Unit from Fire/EMS Station 830 that was dispatched to a home on 58th Place in Cheverly for a report of a female in labor. During the patient assessment, the medics observed an umbilical cord presentation without any sign of birth. Umbilical cord presentation or prolapse is a rare obstetrical emergency that occurs when the umbilical cord descends alongside or beyond the fetal presenting part. It is life-threatening to the fetus since blood flow through the umbilical vessels is usually compromised from compression of the cord between the fetus and the uterus, cervix, or pelvic inlet.

The cord presented blue in color, indicating there was no blood getting to the baby from the mother. If this child was going to survive, it was imperative that something be done quickly. Relying on their training, Paramedic Pressley inserted her hand in the birth canal and alleviated pressure on the umbilical cord being caused by the baby moving down the birth canal. With her hand in place, the cord became pink and she felt a pulse. The medic crew were relieved to know the baby was now receiving blood. Having alleviated pressure on the umbilical cord, she could not remove her hand until directed by a physician to do so. Paramedic Bowman consulted with physicians at the Prince George’s Hospital Center and informed them of the severity of the situation, as well as alerted to prepare a delivery room. Immediately upon arriving at the hospital, the patient was assessed and without delay taken to Labor and Delivery. The physician determined that Pressley must accompany the patient into the Operating Room, where an emergency Cesarean Section would be performed. Her hand remained in place, keeping pressure off the umbilical cord until the baby was delivered. After a week in the hospital, the healthy baby girl, delivered at 36 weeks gestation, was discharged into the care of her parents.

For their performance on the scene of the aforementioned incident that resulted in saving the life of baby, Fire Fighter/Medic John A. Bowman and Fire Fighter/Medic Kacie E. Pressley were awarded a Fire/EMS Department Emergency Service Award.

In making the presentation, Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor stated, "Congratulations and thank you for an outstanding job. Your actions reflect favorably on you, the Fire/EMS Department, and Prince George’s County Government as a whole.  I believe that this is the first time in the history of providing advanced life support in Prince George's  County that a paramedic had to join labor and delivery in the OR with an emergency C-section"

Bowman, Pressley and Bashoor

Bowman, Pressley, PGHC's Director of Emergency Services Mark Arsenault and Fire Chief Bashoor

Pressley responds to media questions.

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