No one ever wants to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on a child, but sometimes, the reality hits differently. Knowing exactly what to do in such an event can make all the difference.
Infant CPR is different from regular CPR, given the fragile anatomy of a child. Even if you have already attended an infant CPR class in Cincinnati before, it’s utterly important to brush off your skills and stay on top of the changes and updates in the training.
Parents and caregivers are at the front and center when caring for a child and their upbringing. Being knowledgeable in infant CPR is an essential step toward ensuring the little one keeps their vitals stable until professional help arrives.
What Exactly Is Infant CPR?
Infant cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a medical procedure employed when an infant (younger than 1-year-old) experiences cardiac arrest (the heart stops beating) or respiratory arrest (breathing cessation). These conditions can arise due to various factors, including suffocation, choking, hereditary issues, drowning, etc.
If any of the above circumstances apply and an infant’s breathing discontinues, or its heart stops beating, performing chest compressions, aka CPR, is paramount. When performing CPR on an infant, you are helping oxygen reach every vital organ and keep the blood circulation going. Chest compressions and rescue breaths are considered the two main components of infant CPR.
The Difference Between Infant CPR Classes and Adult CPR
When it comes to babies and health conditions, nothing is the same as with adults. This is especially true for sudden cardiac arrest cases. An adult person would receive chest compressions delivered with two hands, but chest compressions for an infant are done with only two fingers.
There is also a difference in delivering rescue breaths. When performing adult CPR, it is advised not to use rescue breaths but instead use hands-only CPR and an automated external defibrillator if needed. On the other hand, infants, i.e., babies up to 1 year old, need to receive rescue breaths along with chest compressions. Take care that the blows of air into the infant’s mouth are extra gentle.
Infant CPR in Cincinnati: The Important Steps
If you are wondering how to perform infant CPR in Cincinnati, the steps mentioned here can be used as a guide for parents and caregivers and do not comprise actual infant CPR courses.
Even though studies show cases of infant cardiac arrests are rare — 1 to 3 cases in 100,000 children — it still makes perfect sense to be prepared. The first thing to know about infant CPR is to understand the approach since it’s not the same as standard CPR.
Parents and caregivers in Cincinnati and anywhere else in the U.S. are strongly advised to take a CPR training course that is particularly outlined to cover the ins and outs of infant CPR. By doing so, participants will practice the life-saving technique hands-on, garnering invaluable experience on the subject.
The Delicate Approach
Doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on an infant asks for specific techniques and concerns. For one, in the event of an SCA in an infant, it’s utterly important to place them on a firm surface and not on a bed.
Here are some of the other important steps when performing infant CPR:
- Evaluate the surroundings: Make sure that the environment is perfectly safe for you and the infant before you begin with chest compressions. Assess the infant’s vitals and whether they are breathing normally and are responsive.
- Dial 911: Call for help at once, or if you can’t, ask someone close by to do that.
- Position the infant properly: Lay the infant on a firm surface like the floor or a table (avoid placing them on beds and sofas). Place the infant on its back and make sure its neck and head are not upward or backward but laid in a neutral position, as natural as possible.
- Chest compressions: Use only your index and middle finger to gently push down the chest. Make sure you give anywhere between 100 and 120 compressions per minute, and depress the infant’s chest for about 1.5 in with every compression.
- Rescue breaths: The golden rule of infant CPR says to deliver 2 delicate breaths after 30 chest compressions. Pinch its nose closed and blow air straight into the infant’s mouth. Watch for the chest – it should rise as you deliver the rescue breaths. Blow air for around 1 second.
- Maintain a steady pace until help is present: Whatever you do, do not stop the compressions and rescue breaths until professional help arrives. It is crucial to maintain the infant’s vitals until the EMTs take over.
What to Look for in Infant CPR Classes in Cincinnati
If you made a decision to enroll in an infant CPR class in Cincinnati, you have taken the first step toward ensuring you are prepared for the worst-case scenario involving an infant. Now, when choosing where to sign up for an infant CPR course, do some research on CPR training centers in your area.
Additionally, it’s super important to consider only CPR training providers that have been licensed by either the American Heart Association or the Red Cross. By doing so, you can rest assured the knowledge you will be given will come from trained instructors and professionals adhering to the latest CPR recommendations.
Depending on your needs and schedule, you can opt to take an infant CPR class online or do it entirely in person. Also, there is a third option that blends both previous options, the so-called blended learning model.
If it happens that you’ve already taken an infant CPR class in Cincinnati before, it’s probable that all the information isn’t still fresh in your mind. To brush up on your skills, you can take a CPR refresher course that will deal with specifics of the things you already learned. Compared to standard CPR classes, refresher courses are shorter and cost less.
Ways to Prevent Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Infants and Children
Determining the risk of sudden cardiac arrest in infants and children can be made possible through several steps that parents can take. These measures include the following:
Regular Well-Child Visits
Regular visits to healthcare professionals for well-child check-ups play a crucial role in screening for various conditions that may potentially put a child at risk, such as undiagnosed heart problems.
Pre-Participation Exams (Sports Physicals)
Speaking of children, undertaking physical examinations before engaging in organized sports, participating in physical education classes, or enrolling in recreational activities involving substantial exercise (e.g., attending camp) can serve as important preventive measures against SCA and potentially save lives.
Community Heart Screenings
Many communities offer free heart screenings that can help identify structural and electrical issues that may pose a risk to a child’s heart health. During such screenings, a healthcare professional will typically conduct a family history evaluation, perform a physical examination, and conduct an electrocardiogram (ECG) to assess the heart’s rhythm. In some cases, an echocardiogram may also be included to rule out any structural abnormalities.
Genetic testing can provide valuable insights by identifying a family history of conditions like Long QT Syndrome, a genetic disorder that can contribute to SCA.
Evaluation for Warning Signs or High-Risk Factors
Children who exhibit warning signs or fall into high-risk categories should undergo further evaluation, including tests such as an EKG (electrocardiogram) and an echocardiogram. Identifying an underlying heart condition or other risk factors allows for proactive measures to prevent sudden cardiac arrest.
Early intervention strategies may involve medication and lifestyle modifications. In some cases, specialists in Cincinnati may recommend a cardioverter-defibrillator implantation. This is a small computerized device capable of detecting and correcting abnormal heart rhythms through an electrical shock.
The Final Say on How to Perform Infant CPR in Cincinnati: A Guide for Parents and Caretakers
You can never be too prepared for an emergency, including a medical one. Throughout the years, sudden cardiac arrests have been in full swing. Granted, adults are at greater risk than children and infants, but sadly, the little ones aren’t entirely excluded from the perils of sudden cardiac arrest.
If an infant suffers an SCA, doing CPR properly can make a significant difference in its survival odds. Immediate chest compressions accompanied by rescue breaths at a certain chest-to-breath ratio is something that will keep the infant alive until EMTs arrive to take over. You can take control of how you manage an infant SCA ordeal by enrolling in an infant CPR class in Cincinnati and investing in your own preparedness.