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How To Perform CPR On An Infant

Knowing how to perform CPR on an infant is a skill that can help save a life in an emergency situation. The steps are different than performing CPR on an adult, which is why you need to understand the differences when performing this life saving procedure.

When To Call 911

The American Heart Association recommends that you call 911 immediately when the infant no longer shows signs of responsiveness. An infant may not respond to their name, so many sure to check for alertness physically by tapping their shoulder or picking them up.

You can also check them for normal breathing. Simply tilt their head upward for 5 seconds, and carefully watch for them to take a normal breath.

If the infant does not show alertness, or signs of breathing, you should start performing chest compressions.

Chest Compressions

Lay the infant on their back and place two fingers slightly below their nipples on top of their breastbone. Push down quick and hard, to a depth that is approximately 1/3 of their chest. Repeat this motion 30 times at a rate of approximately 100 compressions per minute. Check for breathing, and repeat the process until help arrives.

Make sure to keep a hand on their forehead during this entire process so that their head is tilted back, which will help allow air to flow through their mouth.

Do Not Check For A Pulse Between Chest Compressions

In 2005, the AHA changed their CRP guidelines so that it no longer requires checking for a pulse. Studies have shown that untrained adults are unable to find the pulse when checking perfectly healthy adults, sometimes confusing their own pulse for the victims.

It can be even more difficult to check the pulse of an infant, which is why checking for a pulse at this point could distract you from performing important chest compressions.

Opening The Airway

If you are trained in CPR, you can perform rescue breaths, as the AHA recommends that rescue breaths be performed on infants.

With their head tilted back, see if you notice any signs of breathing such as a moving chest. If there are no signs of breathing, continue by performing rescue breaths.

Infants under age 1 need to have their mouth and nose covered with your mouth while you perform rescue breaths. Perform two breaths for 1 second each, which should cause their chest to move.

Continue performing chest compressions if there are no signs of breathing after the rescue breaths.

While these skills can be difficult to perform for the first time in an emergency situation, you may want to consider taking a child CPR class (offered by such places as Southwest Florida Safety Council Inc) so that you can have properly supervised training. It is an important skill you can learn that may help save a life.

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