A 3-month-old infant died Tuesday in Northwest D.C.
D.C. police were called to the scene just after 6 p.m.; they said the 3-month-old boy was unconscious when they arrived in the 600 block of Park Road Northwest. Despite efforts by paramedics, the child was pronounced dead less than an hour later at a nearby hospital.
An autopsy is planned, and D.C. police’s Special Victims Unit will investigate.
Safety advocate Dave Statter says D.C. Fire and EMS were dispatched shortly after 6 p.m. but then that call was immediately canceled.
“All they were dispatched for originally was for a child locked in an auto. Somewhat routine call — people accidentally lock somebody in a car and they need D.C. Fire and EMS to help them get them out,” he said.
“What D.C. Fire and EMS didn’t know is that about the same time, they got word in the 911 [Center] from the 911 Caller, that the child was out of the car, but was in cardiac arrest. … The reason they answered the call is because they learned that the child was out of the car. But what they didn’t realize is that they were also learning at about the same time that the child was in cardiac arrest.”
The result, Statter said, is that no one was dispatched on the call for about eight minutes.
“We don’t know in this case, if getting Fire and EMS there sooner would have made a big difference,” he said. “We know that child, according to D.C. police, was in the car for possibly a couple of hours. But that’s beside the point.
“It’s important to get Fire and EMS there on these critical calls as soon as possible. When you lose eight minutes in a cardiac arrest call, you’re not doing a good job.”
In a statement, D.C.’s Office of Unified Communications said the death is now the subject of an active investigation.
“The Office of Unified Communications expresses our sincere condolences to the family who lost their infant … after a call was placed for an infant locked in a car and then was updated to an infant in cardiac arrest,” they said.
WTOP’s Mike Murillo contributed to this report.