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Families leave hospital with newborn babies, infant CPR kit

SAN ANTONIO – The color red will be taking over San Antonio as American Heart Month kicks off. At University Hospital, the smallest patients are getting special care thanks to volunteers and the American Heart Association.

They are hoping to head off one of the most terrifying experiences a new parent can encounter.

One of the patients is only 2 days old, but he's already getting care from his mom that most don't, thanks to an infant CPR anytime kit, which every child will go home with this month.

"It can be that they stop breathing, or that their heart stopped," said Dr. Mandle Svatek. "They turned blue in any form or fashion. So these are normal babies that we send home that need their families to have a plan of action."

The kit has a DV, a skills reminder card and an inflatable mannequin of an infant. It's a take-home teacher of how to save an infant's life when every second counts.

"Sometimes we don't know how quickly 911 can get there," Svatek said. "If they are already performing CPR, then they are already making the outcome better for these kids."

Three hundred University Hospital babies will go home with a red cap, crocheted by hand by volunteers to commemorate American Heart Month.

"It helps raise awareness that heart disease isn't just for adults, but for babies, newborns who have congenital heart defects," said OB/GYN Dr. Kristen Plastino.

In-class CPR courses are also recommended. Anyone who's interested should contact the American Red Cross.