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CPR skills: ‘I was the only one in the room who could save my dying baby’

NITU Gupta comes from a medical family and assumed all her relatives knew CPR — but when her son went into cardiac arrest, she discovered nobody else knew what to do.

NITU Gupta comes from a medical family and assumed all her relatives knew CPR — but when her son Ravi stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest, she discovered nobody else knew what to do.

Luckily Dr Gupta, a dentist, had kept her CPR skills up to date and she swung into action and saved his life.

“No-one in that room that day knew what to do. It was shocking for me when I realised others did not know what to do,” she said.

“My husband is in the army reserves and he didn’t know and I said to him if this happens, you need to know how to do this.

“We were down in Melbourne and sat down to lunch and I was just looking at him, watching him and my husband play. One second he was fine, the next, he just wasn’t there.”

Nitu Gupta (pictured with her sons Rishi, 4, and Ravi, 3). She saved her son Ravi’s life using CPR.Source:Supplied

The 39-year-old mother of two first thought her son may have had a stroke, but then he lost consciousness and went into cardiac arrest.

“His breathing slowed and then he went blue and there was no pulse. I went into autopilot and started CPR,” she said..

“In my mind I was saying keep it together, keep it together, because if I didn’t do something my baby was going to die.”

On their return to Sydney, Dr Gupta enrolled her family in a CPR For Kids course.

Ravi, now three, went through a multitude of tests and, to this day, no cause has been found.

But the whole family is ready if it ever happens again.

“I think it is essential, if you have children or you are around children, you need to know CPR. The reality is you can save someone’s life,” she said.

Dr Gupta is a strong supporter of our campaign, which calls on the state government to fund an extra $2 million to add CPR to existing antenatal classes for new parents.

“Parents-to-be are going to antenatal courses anyway and should be taught the basics of paediatric CPR,” she said.

Surf Rescue Lifesaver Dana Richards believes CPR skills are vital. Picture: Tim HunterSource:News Corp Australia

Cronulla mum Natalie Beale, 31, also saved her own baby’s life last year when Kelsey, just five days old, went into cardiac arrest after choking.

“It was my first night home from hospital and I was sleep-deprived and my husband Richard came in and said he thought she was choking. I went in and she was completely blue. I cleared her airway, gave her a back blow, she was blue and frothing at the mouth so I started doing puffs over her nose and mouth and then compressions. I was in shock but kept doing it for eight minutes. It took the ambulance about nine minutes and she started breathing again just as they arrived.”

As an airline steward, Ms Beale is regularly trained but believes CPR should be mandatory for any parent and also backs our call for CPR to be added to antenatal classes.

“I think everyone should do it and 100 per cent it should be taught in antenatal courses. You have a newborn and they are so precious; mum, dad, grandparents, everyone needs to know it because knowing what to do can save a life,” Ms Beale said.

Originally published as ‘Only I could save my baby’

Author: Jane Hansen. 'Only I could save my baby' - The Sunday Telegraph 17.12.17

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