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A Step-By-Step Guide For CPR

bard & didriksen pediatrics, giving mouth to mouth to a young boy

One of the most important lessons you learn as a parent is “expect the unexpected”. Babies and children are curious, naive, and often careless because they have no idea of the consequences of the dangerous things they try. For this reason it is important that parents or caretakers know how to perform CPR.

CPR, which stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is a technique that allows oxygenated blood to circulate in the body and can be the difference between life and death or serious internal injury in an emergency. CPR should be performed when a person is unconscious and not breathing, and emergency services should always be contacted even if the person regains consciousness so that they can be evaluated immediately. Infant CPR differs slightly from the way it would be performed an adult so we have provided the following steps to explain to you in detail how to perform CPR specifically on an infant.

  1. Evaluate – First check to make sure the baby is unconscious, flicking their foot and calling them by name. If there is no response have someone call 911, if you are alone you should provide CPR for two minutes before calling yourself. Also Check for any severe bleeding as this needs to be controlled before CPR can be administered, you should apply pressure to any heavily bleeding wounds.
  2. Open The Airway – Lay the infant flat on their back and tilt their head back with the chin lifted slightly, this will open the airway so you can check for any signs of breathing or blockages. If you can see something blocking the airway and are able to pull it out with your fingers, do so, but do not force it as it may be pushed further down. (In this case you should perform back thrusts by laying the baby on your forearm, head lower than their body and firmly thrusting the heel of your open palm between the shoulder blades five times.)
  3. Check For Breathing – Lower your head over the infant’s mouth facing its feet. If breathing, you will see the chest rise and lower and feel the breath on your cheek.
  4. Give Two Breaths – Keeping in mind that the baby has much smaller lungs than an adult, you should give two small breaths. Place your mouth over the infant’s mouth and nose and give two breaths, just one second long with a pause in between to let the lungs deflate again. (If the chest does not rise with the breaths, there is a blockage you can’t see, the back thrusts should be attempted for this as well.)
  5. Chest Compressions – You now give 30 chest compressions before the next two breaths. Place two fingers in the middle of the infants chest, just below nipple height and using the pads not the tips of your fingers. When you push down for the compression, you should push about an inch and release in a smooth motion. Compressions should be quick and smooth, the entire sequence should take less than 30 seconds including breaths.
  6. Repeat – Repeat the compressions and breaths until the infant regains consciousness or help arrives.

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