It’s a scenario we all hope we never have to take part in. However, if a baby’s life is at risk you should know how to respond. Although you may have taken a CPR class for adults and children, CPR for infants is different due to their small and delicate bodies. Please note that these directions apply to infants less than one year of age.
If the baby is gagging or coughing and having trouble breathing, quickly assess:
Is the blockage partial or complete?
- Partial – air is still flowing in and out of lungs around the foreign object
NEVER perform a finger sweep because it could push the object farther down the baby’s throat
- Complete – no air is flowing in or out of lungs – their face might change color and they will not be able to make noise.
You’ll need to take action and here is how it’s done.
Step 1 – Try dislodging the object with back blows and chest thrusts for two minutes
- Back Blows – lay baby face down on your forearm. Use the heel of one hand and give five firm back blows between shoulder blades.
- Chest Thrusts – lay baby face up on your forearm. Place two fingers in the center of the chest and compress the breastbone five times.
Step 2 – After two minutes of care, check for breathing. If infant is not breathing deliver two rescue breaths. Use your mouth to make a complete seal over the infant’s mouth and nose, then blow in for one second to make the chest clearly rise.
Step 3 – Call 911 and follow their instructions.
If baby becomes unconscious and does not respond to rescue breaths begin infant CPR:
Step 1 – Kneel beside the child or baby.
Step 2 – Use 2 fingers to deliver 30 quick compressions that are each about 1.5 inches deep.
Step 3 – Give 2 rescue breaths.
Step 4 –Continue these CPR steps until you see obvious signs of life, like breathing, or until an AED is ready to use, another trained responder or EMS professional is available to take over.
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