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Baby Falls Into Cool-Air Return Of Air Conditioning Unit

Last updated on Thursday, May 31, 2012

(WASHINGTON) - The fall of a 10-month-old baby caused some tense moments when he fell into the cool-air return of an air conditioning unit and got stuck.

Police received a frantic 911 call around noon on Tuesday.

When Washington Police Sgt. Johnny Lagle and Southwest Medical Paramedic Sarah Elrod-Ausbrook arrived they found the baby had fallen head first into the return in the floor and was stuck.

Lagle says the baby fell in when his siblings had removed the vent cover that was not screwed down.

The baby's father was holding the baby's body so the child would not slip farther down the vent.

At first, paramedic tried to lather the child in lotion and slip him out. But that didn't work.

That is when they realized the air conditioning was still on and sucking the child into the vent. The father turned the unit off.

Next, emergency workers went to the basement to see if they could lower the baby through the vent.

The boy's shoulders were jammed in the square part of the register and his head was in the 10-inch pipe below that. Beyond that was a curve in the pipe. Had he been 4-5 pounds lighter the child would have slid down to where his airway was compromised.

From the basement emergency workers were able to push the vent up through the floor and get the baby in an upright position.

The child was transported, still in the tube, to the hospital.

Fighters had to help transport the baby, because it took a lot of people to hold the child so his airway would not be compromised.

Doctors used tin snips to remove the square part of the vent causing the tubing to come loose, freeing the child. The baby only suffered scrapes and bruises.

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