Scout's honor: Quick-thinking troop leader saves infant's life
There might not be a doctor nearby when a crisis arises. But if you're lucky, there could be a Girl Scout leader.
On Wednesday evening, Beaverton resident and Girl Scout leader Diane Bauer was at the Fred Meyer store on Southwest Walker Road when a 5-week old infant stopped breathing. Bauer said her training as a Scout leader — plus recertification in CPR, taking just last month at her job — combined to save the infant's life.
A spokeswoman for Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue confirmed the basics of the story. For privacy reasons, the name of the baby and the young mother have not been released.
The incident began around 6 p.m. when Bauer and her daughter, Charlotte, 17, were standing in line to get cat food. Bauer credits Charlotte for being the first to notice a young mother with an infant in a car seat, in the next aisle over. The mother appeared to be in distress. The baby's grandmother was there, as well, but was riding one of the grocery carts for people who needed assistance walking.
Bauer went to investigate. The baby in the carseat wasn't breathing. "He was as stiff as a doll. I couldn't even tilt his little head back," she said.
Bauer said she has taught "Babysitting 101," which includes First Aid and CPR, to Scouts. She also recently was hired at Doernbecher Children's Hospital Foundation and, just last month, got re-certified in CPR.
"His heart was fluttering. He had a pulse," she said. "He just wasn't breathing."
Knowing what to do, she put a hand on the baby's chest and blew two puffs into his mouth. His chest didn't rise.
She opened his mouth and swept for foreign objects, then tried again.
A little air got in, but not enough.
Bauer said she again tried sweeping the baby's mouth and throat for foreign objects.
She gave him two more puffs, and his chest rose. His arms began to jerk and his eyes came into focus, she said.
Meanwhile, the baby's mother had called 911 and firefighters from TVF&R's Butner Road station responded to the medical call and took over.
When asked how long the incident took, Bauer admits she has no idea. "I thought, a minute? Charlotte said, oh, no, it was like five minutes. But when you're in the middle of something like that, you just can't tell."
She credits Charlotte — a junior at Wilson High School and an Ambassador Girl Scout with Troop 45065 — with noticing the problem in the first place, and for alerting her.
One of the firefighters asked Bauer about her lifesaving skills, and Bauer told him she was a Girl Scout leader.
"The firemen said, 'Girl Scouts ... that's really awesome. Thank you,'" Bauer said.