CHILD AND INFANT CPR
Being a child comes with a lot of risks. Kids don’t have the same judgement as adults. Nor do they have the same strength as an adult. As a result kids sometimes get into situations that require intervention.
I recently took a class to re-certify myself for Basic Life Support and First Aid. I used Life Saver CPR for my training.
I have had CPR and First Aide certifications in the past. The first time was when I was 12 and took a babysitters course. Over the past 32 years I have taken it a few times but I have not always maintained my certification.
Initially, I signed up because, I feel that having my BLS and FA cards will open more opportunities career wise.
Around the time I signed up for my class, a friend from high school had their teenage son pass away. The father did know and preform CPR until the paramedics arrived.
If seeing someone you know loose a child is not enough inspiration to get you to take a class, nothing will.
*The balloon photo above was taken at her son’s service during the balloon release.*
I am sure Brad had questions about me as most of the class were health care workers or nursing students. Although I have taken classes before, I can honestly say I didn’t feel as comfortable as I thought I would. I had a mental challenge that day in I kept thinking about my friend and her family. I wondered if I could do it if I had to. For me, this time was very somber.
Something that Brad didn’t mention in the class (mind you it was for health care professionals) was the use of a toilet plunger.
Stop the eww gross and read the link highlighted above. The plunger helps a couple of ways. If you don’t have the strength to do the compressions to 1/3 the depth of the chest, the stick is going to give you leverage and probably keep you from pressing further then necessary as well. Also, one of the most important parts of CPR is recoil where you allow the chest to come all the way back up. Recoil is important because it allows the heart to fill with blood. Otherwise you are pumping an empty heart and there is no blood to move. The suction on the up movement of the plunging action causes full recoil.
(I am sure if Brad sees this he might cringe, but I am basing my statement off research I have done on my own and the news story which I linked to.)
So your basics are
- make sure it is safe to do CPR where you are
- assess what the problem is
- make sure the victim is on a solid surface
- on an infant tap the bottom of the feet, on a child tap the shoulders and yell, “ARE YOU OKAY?”
- check for breathing, place your face sideways above their mouth and nose, do you feel a breath? look at their chest is it rising?
- if they are breathing you don’t do CPR
- do they have a pulse? on an infant you want to check on the inside of the upper arm. On a child 1 year or older you want to feel along the neck to the side of the windpipe, on the side closest to you so you are not cutting off their air flow
- if someone is with you instruct them to call 911 and what to say
- if you are alone do 2 minutes of CPR prior to calling 911 to get oxygen and blood to the brain
- you will want to do a head tilt chin lift to open the airway
- look inside the mouth and see if there is anything blocking the airway, if you can see something and can easily remove it do so. NEVER blind sweep in the mouth or throat as you can lodge an item further
- on an infant you will only use 2 fingers on the center of the chest to compress
- on a child over 1 -8 years you want to use 1 hand
- on anyone over 8 years you will use two hands
- you want to compress over the breastbone below the nipple line but above the zyphoid process. (The little notch at the end of the sternum is easily broken)
- Anytime you are alone you want to do 30 compressions followed by 2 breaths
- if you are working on an infant under the age of 1 and have 2 or more people you will do 15 compressions to 2 breaths, over a year of age and you stick to the 30:2 ratio even with a team
- you want to again check the airway by doing the head tilt chin lift and then removing anything you see
- on an infant you need to cover both the nose and mouth and give 2 breaths of air. You want to see the chest rise but you do not want to fill the stomach with air
- on a child over the age of 1 you will simply pinch the nose while giving the two breaths
One of the things Brad pointed out was people tend to give LOOOONNNNGGGG Breaths or really short quick ones. You want to remember you are breathing for them. You want to breath naturally.
Think about how you breath and do it. Don’t blow up a balloon.
If there is still no breathing or pulse, you continue. If you have a partner it is recommended to switch who is doing the compressions and breathing every 2 minutes until medical professionals arrive.
image source : American Heart Association
If you are lucky enough to be somewhere that an AED is available, tell someone to go get the AED, the location, and tell them to come back.
When the AED arrives, you push the power button and it will instruct you how to continue.
If the time comes, will you know what to do?