06/14/2013 11:13 am ET

Turkey Baster Rescue: Man Saves Baby's Life With Kitchen Tool (VIDEO)

A Michigan man sprang into action when he heard news of a nearby baby choking and used a turkey baster to save the girl's life.

Two weeks ago, Bill Hogenson was working outside a home in Ludington, Mich., when he overheard a babysitter next door calling 911. She said the 5-month-old baby she was watching was turning purple and not breathing, according to local NBC affiliate WPBN. Hogenson ran into the house to find little Nessa Shoup choking. He started to perform CPR, but she was still struggling to breathe.

"So I went to the drawer and found a turkey baster and used the turkey baster to clear her nasal passage and her airway," Hogenson said. "Patted her on the back some more, then spun her around and got a good look at her. And she quit crying and she smiled at me. And I knew that we were going to be in the good."

Visit WPBN to learn what the girl's father had to say.

The Mayo Clinic notes that choking is a common cause of injury and death in young children, because their airways are small and easily obstructed. Babies must learn to master the ability to chew and swallow food, and sometimes they cannot cough hard enough to dislodge an obstruction. They also tend to put foreign items in their mouths.

Knowing how to perform CPR on an infant is vital for parents. The action can prevent permanent brain damage or death in the case of an emergency, according to the National Institutes of Health. The NIH recommends using safety straps in chairs, keeping small items and foodstuff out of the reach of children and having kids sit still while eating.