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How To Perform CPR On An Infant

How To Perform CPR On An Infant

Finding an infant in need of emergency care would upset anyone. Yet, it's important to know the steps and stay calm. Performing CPR pumps oxygen-rich blood into the heart and brain. It can prevent brain damage and death.

Step 1: Check

First, you should check the scene, and then later on you'll check the victim.

When you check the scene you want to make sure that it's safe for you. You want to make sure you do not become another victim. So, check for safety, then check for the number of victims. How many victims do you have? Clues as to what could have happened. Look around for other bystanders who can help you. These bystanders can help you by calling 911, stop traffic, and other things of that nature.

Now, check the victim. Find out if they are unconscious. The best way to find out if the victim is conscious is to talk to them. Tap and shout and see if they respond to you.

Step 2: Call

If they are unconscious or under any other life-threatening conditions, you should automatically call 911. Preferably, send a bystander to call 911.

Step 3: Care

Care involves the ABCs taught in Red Cross CPR classes. A is for airway, B is for breathing and C is for circulation.

Step 4: A for Airway

To open the airway, tilt the head back, lift the chin and look, listen, and feel for up to ten seconds. This way you can tell if a person is breathing.

Step 5: B for Breathing

If there is no breathing. Go to the "B" step, which involves 2 rescue breaths. Tilt the head back, pinch the nose, lift the chin and give two breaths. Those breaths are about 1 second long.

If the breaths go in, that tells you there is no blockage. Look over the body and see if there's any bleeding. Then, begin CPR.

If the breaths did not go in, the victim is choking and the airway is obstructed. Follow the steps for Unconscious Choking.

Step 6: Check Pulse

Pulse check is no longer done for adults. However, one should check the pulse of children and infants. For children, check the pulse on the side of the neck. For infants, check the pulse on the inside of the arm, between the elbow and the shoulder.

Step 7: C For Circulation

Check the pulse and breathing, and act accordingly. If there is a pulse and breathing, place them on their side in the recovery position.

Step 8: Rescue Breathing

If there is a pulse but no breathing, breathe for the victim. They do not require compressions - only breaths. So do what is called "rescue breathing".

Give one breath every 3 seconds, and give 40 breaths in about 2 minutes. At the end of two minutes, stop to re-check the pulse and breathing again, and decide how to proceed.

Step 9: CPR

If the victim had no pulse and/or no breathing, you will have to perform CPR. CPR is a combination of compressions and breaths and it serves to let oxygenated blood through the entire body. CPR can keep the brain and other vital organs alive until advanced emergency personnel can take over.

When doing CPR for an infant, instead of using a hand, use two or three fingers just below the nipple line, and compress the chest half an inch to one inch. Perform 30 compressions and 2 breaths. Perform them 5 times every 2 minutes.

Step 10: Stopping CPR

Once you begin CPR, do not stop to recheck. Continue without stopping until: you see signs of life, another trained person takes over, a defibrillator is ready to be used, the scene becomes unsafe, or you are too exhausted to continue.

Step 11: Recovery

If the infant shows signs of life, keep a careful eye on them, and wait for rescue personnel to arrive.

All parents and caretakers should know how to perform CPR on their child. It can save a life that's just begun. We highly recommend that you take a class and review these steps often.