EMS team helps save Manorville baby
TEAM OF SBUMC EMS AND MANORVILLE FIRST RESPONDER VOLUNTEERS HELP SAVE BREECH BABY, MOM IN MANORVILLE HOME BIRTH
STONY BROOK, NY, January 22, 2009 - It was all over the news...on January 6, Dolores Guidice, a 20-year-old Manorville
woman went into premature labor in her home. When her mother, who was with her at the time, called 911, a heroic dispatcher from Suffolk County (who was pregnant herself) talked her through the difficult breech delivery. Yes, it was a deed worthy of the attention it received, but the heroics did not stop with delivery of the baby. The outcome may have been much different had first responders from Manorville EMS and first responders from Stony Brook University Medical Center not been on hand. Within three minutes of receiving the call, they were on the scene, helping to revive the 30-week old baby girl, who was critically ill, and care for the mother in the moments of afterbirth."When the EMS workers came in they were wonderful," Guidice said. "They took control and did everything, getting both me and the baby to the hospital quickly. Thank goodness they were there to help with everything."
Scott Falley is an EMT-Paramedic for SBUMC and a part of the First Responder Program. He arrived at the Manorville home right behind the paramedic and the EMT from Manorville. When he got there, the young mother was in the bathroom, holding the baby and the umbilical cord had not yet been cut.
"The baby was critical; her breathing was inadequate, and her pulse was indiscernible," said Falley.
The two Manorville EMS workers clamped and cut the cord, suctioned the baby and handed her to Falley.
"I assessed the baby's Apgar score as 3 [on a scale of 10]; not life sustaining," Falley said.
He initiated CPR, while carrying the baby to the waiting ambulance, driven by Josh Lebenns, assistant chief for Manorville Community Ambulance. Falley stayed in the ambulance with the baby, as they rushed to Peconic Bay Medical Center, the closest hospital. Three different agencies (Suffolk County Police, Suffolk County Sheriff's Department and Riverhead PD) escorted the ambulance.
"I've never seen anything like it," said Patricia Massaro, paramedic for Manorville EMS, who was first on the scene and accompanied Guidice to the hospital. "The police shut down the LIE for us-we didn't ask them to do that-but it enabled us to quickly get the baby and her mother to the hospital."
EMS radioed ahead to the hospital so that it was prepared for their arrival, and also radioed to SBUMC, who sent a NICU team to PBMC, to transport the baby to Stony Brook. En route, Falley was able to resuscitate the baby and saw her Apgar score rise to an 8.
Back in Manorville, Guidice still needed to deliver the placenta. She was transported to PBMC via a second ambulance driven by Manorville EMT Steven Gray.
"The Suffolk County dispatcher is a hero for getting the mom through that delivery - she did a phenomenal job," Falley said, "From there, everyone worked so well as a team, starting with the dispatcher, to the EMS workers, to the police escorts to the two hospitals involved."
Following the eventful delivery of her baby girl, Neveah ("heaven" spelled backward), Guidice wanted to meet the dispatcher who helped her through it, to thank her in person. She was taken by surprise by the media attention when she arrived at the meeting.
"If I had known, I would have asked that the EMS workers be there too, to be part it," she said.
Neveah is still a patient in the NICU at Stony Brook, and according to Guidice, there have been challenges due to her prematurity, but she is doing well and expects to bring her home in about two weeks.
"It's not often that a story like this has a happy ending," said Eric Niegelberg, who oversees SBUMC's First Responder Program. "Everyone stayed calm and did their jobs."
SBUMC established an EMS first responder program in July of 2007 to enhance local ambulance corps service in eastern Suffolk County for which it has written agreements with East Moriches Community Ambulance, Manorville Community Ambulance, Center Moriches Fire Department, Mattituck Fire Department, and the Riverhead Town Volunteer Ambulance Corps. The program is overseen by Eric Niegelberg, Administrative Director for Emergency Services at Stony Brook University Medical Center, and is staffed by five full-time certified paramedics, including Falley. Three new first responder vehicles were appropriated, each a customized 2007 Ford Expedition certified by the New York State Department of Health; one vehicle is stationed in eastern Riverhead covering the eastern Riverhead/Mattituck area; the second is in Manorville covering the Manorville/East Moriches area. The third is a back up for use when one of the others is being serviced. When in operation, each of the vehicles is staffed by one paramedic.
The supplemental emergency service is available between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday when it is the most difficult to attract volunteers, said Niegelberg. The program serves the areas of Manorville/East Moriches and Riverhead/Mattituck. There is no cost to either the local EMS/fire agencies or patients for the service.