As parents, we hope that we’ll never have to use cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on our children. Nonetheless, it is super important that we equip ourselves with the knowledge and steps so that in an event of an emergency, you’ll have an idea on what to do and measures to take.
Do note that infant CPR is slightly different than an adult’s. For the purpose of this article, ‘infants’ are referred to babies age 0- 12 months old.
CPR should only be performed if breathing has stopped and the infant is unresponsive or unconscious”. – Dr. Mohammed Ridzuan Abdul Razak, Senior Resident Medical Officer, Emergency Department, Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur.
Can I perform CPR even if I have no training or practise?
Parents should know that there are risks involved when performing CPR; such as breaking a bone or injuring an internal organ. Hence, it is best that we do get trained and even certified.
But it is possible to perform CPR in emergency situations as long as you know the proper steps and is confident in doing so, says Dr Dr. Mohammed Ridzuan Abdul Razak, Senior Resident Medical Officer, Emergency Department, Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur.
CPR: Witness or Non- Witness?
Steps in performing CPR on an infant is divided into Witness and Non-Witness. Witness means that your baby collapses in front of you- at this point you know that the oxygen level is still ok, so you should immediately call for help. Whereas in a non-witness situation, for example when you walk into a room to find your baby unconscious or unresponsive, one should get into CPR mode immediately to try and provide oxygen to the baby.
Before Performing CPR on an Infant
- Check the scene and make sure scene is safe. To elicit a response on an infant, flick the bottom of their foot.
- If your baby does not respond, get someone to call 999 immediately.
- With baby lying on their back, tilt their head back slightly and lift the chin to open up the airway.
- Check for breathing. Listen for breathing carefully, for no more than 10 seconds.
- Concurrently, check for pulse by palpating with 2 fingers at inner aspect of upper arm, midway between shoulder and elbow.
- If no breathing or pulse, start CPR.
Performing CPR on Infant
- Make sure infant is on a flat surface and laying on their back.
- Give 30 gentle chest compressions at the rate of 100-120/minute. Use two or three fingers over the lower half of breast bone at the center of the chest. Press down approximately one-third the depth of the chest (about 1 and a half inches).
- Open the airway using a head tilt, chin lift manoeuvre. Do not tilt the head too far back.
- Deliver 2 rescue breaths. With the head head tilted back slightly and the chin lifted, 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. Repeat twice.
- Keep going and continue these CPR steps but pause every 2 minutes to check for breathing and pulse. Stop CPR if there is obvious signs of life like breathing spontaneously/crying, another trained responder or EMS(Emergency Medical Service) professional is available to take over, you're too exhausted to continue, or the scene becomes unsafe.