CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is a lifesaving procedure that is done when someone's breathing or heartbeat has stopped. This may happen after drowning, suffocation, choking, or other injuries. CPR involves:
Permanent brain damage or death can occur within minutes if blood flow stops. Therefore, you must continue these procedures until the infant's heartbeat and breathing return, or trained medical help arrives.
This article discusses CPR done on an infant.
CPR can be lifesaving, but it is best done by someone trained in an accredited CPR course. The procedures described here are not a substitute for CPR training.
All parents and those who take care of children should learn infant and child CPR if they haven't already. See www.americanheart.org for classes near you.
The newest techniques emphasize compression over rescue breathing and airway, reversing long-standing practice.
There are many things that cause an infant's heartbeat and breathing to stop. Some reasons you may need to do CPR on an infant include:
CPR should be done if the infant has the following symptoms:
The following CPR steps are based on instructions from the American Heart Association.
1.Check for alertness. Shake or tap the infant gently. See if the infant moves or makes a noise. Shout, "Are you OK?
2. If there is no response, shout for help. Tell someone to call 911 or your local emergency number. Do not leave the infant yourself to call 911 until you have done CPR for about 2 minutes.
3. Carefully place the infant on their back. If there is a chance the infant has a spinal injury, two people should move the infant to prevent the head and neck from twisting.
4. Perform chest compressions:
5. Open the airway. Lift up the chin with one hand. At the same time, tilt the head by pushing down on the forehead with the other hand.
6. Look, listen, and feel for breathing. Place your ear close to the infant's mouth and nose. Watch for chest movement. Feel for breath on your cheek.
7. If the infant is not breathing:
8. Continue CPR (30 chest compressions followed by 2 breaths, then repeat) for about 2 minutes.
9. After about 2 minutes of CPR, if the infant still does not have normal breathing, coughing, or any movement, leave the infant if you are alone and call 911.
10. Repeat rescue breathing and chest compressions until the infant recovers or help arrives.
Keep rechecking for breathing until help arrives.
Most children need CPR because of a preventable accident. The following tips may help prevent some accidents in children:
Rescue breathing and chest compressions - infant; Resuscitation - cardiopulmonary - infant; Cardiopulmonary resuscitation - infant
Hazinski MF, Samson R, Schexnayder S. 2010 Handbook of Emergency Cardiovascular Care for Healthcare Providers. Dallas, Tx: American Heart Association; 2010.
Updated by: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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