Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR is a first aid procedure that involves rescue breathing (mouth-to-mouth resuscitation) and chest compressions. This emergency procedure is crucial in saving the life of someone who has stopped breathing or experienced cardiac arrest. Some causes of cardiac arrest in babies are major illness or major injury and possibly an underlying heart disease. Other emergency situations that may require CPR in infants include suffocation, drowning, electrocution, severe allergic reactions, and poisoning or intoxication. Although the general principles of CPR in adults and infants are the same, the procedure and techniques are quite different. Standard first aid courses will show you how everything is done the right way.
Infant CPR and first aid courses are available through your local workplace approved chapter and other private organizations offering advanced water safety programs and other local recreation programs. This life-saving skill is actually simple and would require a few hours to learn. First aid courses are available almost anywhere and now you have it online.
Giving CPR to an infant
First, check the responsiveness of the infant by gently rubbing his chest. If the baby does not make a sound or does not move, call your local emergency services (911) right away.
Tap the child gently. If the child does not respond to touch, check for possible injuries. If you are alone, make sure the baby is breathing before you leave to call for help. If you are not alone, ask someone to call for help.
Check for breathing. Watch the rise and fall of the chest. Listen and feel for breathing by placing your ear over his mouth. If there is no signs of breathing, call for help and be ready to start CPR.
Chest compression. Lay down the baby on a firm and flat surface. Place two or three fingers on the middle part of the breastbone, just below the nipple line. Apply 30 quick chest compressions, pressing down the chest at least 1.5 inches. This will get the blood to flow to the heart, brain, and other vital organs.
Rescue breaths. After the first 30 chest compressions, place the palm of one hand on the baby’s forehead and two fingers under his chin. Tilt his head back to open the airway. Open up your mouth and create a seal over his nose and mouth, and then give two slow breaths. Observe for the rising of the chest. If it does not rise, reposition his head, make a tighter seal and try again.
Repeat cycle. Give 30 chest compressions and two breaths every two minutes. Continue doing so while waiting for ambulance to arrive or until the baby resumes breathing.
Place the baby in recovery position. After CPR, your baby may vomit or have difficulty breathing. Position the baby on his side with face slightly facing down. Make sure that the mouth and nose is free of any obstruction.
Learning the right technique for infant CPR requires hands-on training. Taking an infant CPR and first aid course can help ensure that you get the right techniques.