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...Early Monday, about halfway through her 7 p.m.- to-7 a.m. shift, Hyrchuk, a neonatal nurse in the intensive care unit at UCI Medical Center in Orange, saw a local nurse rushing toward her with a baby in her arms.
The local nurse had been patrolling the floor, cleaning up vomit or handing out water - nausea and diarrhea still being common ailments among evacuees.
The nurse - Hyrchuk recalled only her first name, Mari - had found the infant lying on her back on a cot, with no adults around.
Mari noticed the girl, just over 1 month old, was barely breathing. Also worrisome, the girl felt cold to the touch....
... Hyrchuk knew the baby needed to be realigned so her airway could be cleared. Her nose was severely clogged.
From her training, Hyrchuk knew to position the baby so her chin was not compressed into her chest, and to hold her up vertically.
She performed a nasopharyngeal suction, using a bulb syringe to clear out her nose.
"I didn't even know we had bulb syringes here," one volunteer surgeon said.
The baby was breathing, but faintly.
"She was still really plugged up," Hyrchuk said. "I found some Neosporin for lubrication and put in on a long tube and sucked more of the (stuff) out of her nose."
Paramedics arrived and Hyrchuk accompanied the baby to Texas Children's Hospital.
"By the time we got there she was screaming her head off," Hyrchuk said.
She said that if Mari had not noticed the baby, the baby would have died from an airway obstruction due to a cold or improper sleeping position.