Quick-thinking school nurses and paramedics are being credited with saving the life of a 7-year-old boy who went into cardiac arrest after choking on food during a school Christmas party.

Authorities say the second-grader at the Josiah Quincy School in the city's Chinatown neighborhood collapsed on the floor during the party Wednesday afternoon.

Boston Emergency Medical Services deputy superintendent Timothy Holland says the nurses recognized the signs of a heart attack, cleared the boy's airways, used a portable defibrillator and performed CPR.

EMTs were on the scene within minutes and got the boy's pulse going again.

He was taken to Tufts Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition. His name was not released because of his age.