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2019 News

County Nurse, 911 Dispatcher Honored for Saving 2 Babies’ Lives

April 4, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413, lrking@buckscounty.org

Two babies in Upper Bucks County.

Two near-deaths, 12 days apart in January.

And two Bucks County employees whose cool-headed actions saved the lives of both babies.

At recent meetings the Bucks County Commissioners have honored both employees – Public Health Nurse Ana Przybylski and Emergency Response Dispatcher Patricia M. Ebinger – with commendations recognizing their outstanding work.

On Jan. 18, Przybylski saved the life of a 5 ½-month-old infant who stopped breathing during a routine home visit in Quakertown, administering CPR for up to 10 minutes until an ambulance arrived. She was honored at the commissioners’ meeting held March 6.

On Jan. 30, Ebinger helped instruct a distressed Perkasie woman in stopping the bleeding of a 13-month-old girl who had been attacked and severely injured by a family dog, allowing the child to make it to the hospital alive. She was honored at the commissioners’ meeting on Wednesday.

“We’re fortunate to have great employees and leadership here that enables us to have moments like this where we can recognize them,” Commissioners’ Chairman Robert G. Loughery said at this week’s meeting.

Przybylski, a five-year county employee, was visiting the home of a high-risk baby boy when the child, who had been ill, turned blue and stopped breathing. Unable to find a pulse, Przybylski summoned an ambulance, then performed CPR for eight to 10 minutes until help arrived.NurseAna1

In doing so, she kept the baby alive, with blood flowing to his brain, until he could be taken to St. Luke’s Hospital. There he was intubated and flown by Medevac to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and spent several days in critical condition.

“It is very fair to say that if Ana had not shown up that day, the baby would be dead,” said Dr. David C. Damsker, director of the Bucks County Health Department. “It’s also fair to say that if she had not acted quickly and performed CPR, the baby would not have made it to the hospital alive.”

Przybylski told the commissioners that she had arrived early for her home visit that day, which proved to be critical.

“I really believe if I had been even 15 minutes later, it would have been a totally different situation,” she said. “The baby was leaving us, so it really makes me recognize the power of a Higher Power.”

The infant’s crisis was attributed to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which simply causes cold-like symptoms in most children. Because of his premature birth, however, this child was predisposed to far more severe complications from RSV.

At the March 6 commissioners’ meeting, Przybylski said the baby had returned home, “and he’s doing great. There’s no developmental delays” resulting from the emergency, she said.

Commissioners’ Vice Chairman Charles H. Martin told Przybylski that her actions “gave this infant a fighting chance for a good, productive life. You demonstrated the excellence that we hope all county employees strive to achieve.”

Ebinger, a county employee for 11 years, was on duty Jan. 30 in the 911 Communications Center when a harrowing call came in from the 400 block of Grandview Avenue in Perkasie. A family dog had attacked a woman and her 13-month-old daughter. Ebinger

A passing motorist had helped the injured mother to stop the dog’s attack. Now a neighbor who had heard the mother’s screams was trying to help the severely injured child, who was bleeding from multiple bite wounds.

Throughout the 13-minute call, Ebinger gathered information from the neighbor, instructed her in checking the baby’s airway, and calmly walked the neighbor through applying wound dressings to help control the bleeding.

The bandaging was mostly likely what enabled the baby to make it to the hospital alive, Perkasie Police Chief Steven F. Hillias told the commissioners at Wednesday’s meeting.

“The baby was literally in danger of dying,” Hillias said, and went into cardiac arrest in the ambulance en route to Grandview Hospital. “One of the things that’s important in CPR is having a blood supply to circulate. I firmly believe that Trish’s actions preserved enough blood in the baby that the CPR worked, so Trish truly saved a life that day.”

After arriving at Grandview, the child was transferred to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she underwent surgery and was listed in critical condition. Since then she has improved and has responded well to medical treatment.

“We present this commendation to recognize a job well done under considerable pressure in preserving the life of an innocent child,” Commissioner Martin told Ebinger, “and in keeping a traumatic day for this family from becoming a lasting tragedy.”