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Infant CPR

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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:50 pm
Cardiopulmonary (CAR-dee-oh PUL-moe-neh-ree) resuscitation (re-sus-uh-TAY-shun), or C-P-R, is administered when someone's breathing or pulse stops. C-P-R is a procedure that can best be remembered as A-B-C, or airway, breathing, and circulation. If the child is not breathing, place him or her so that the back is on a firm surface. To open an infant's airway, gently lift up the chin with one hand while pushing down on the forehead with the other. Do not overextend the neck when positioning it backwards to open the airway. Too much force might block the breathing passages instead of opening them. Once the airway is open, clear any foreign matter from the mouth. Then, place your ear close to the infant's mouth. Look for movement in the chest, listen for sounds of breathing, and feel for breath on your cheek. If you don't see or feel signs of respiration, you should start rescue breathing. Cover both the mouth and the nose with your mouth. Breathe slowly using enough volume and pressure to make the chest rise. After giving two full breaths, check the infant's pulse. A pulse in an infant can be determined by feeling on the inside of the upper arm between the elbow and the shoulder. If there's no pulse, begin chest compressions, pushing on the breastbone once every second, for about 15 seconds. Use only the tips of the middle and ring fingers, and press hard enough to depress the breastbone slightly. Continue chest compression, alternating with rescue breathing, until pulse and respiration return. For complete information on infant C-P-R techniques, contact a health care provider.
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