Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a series of steps to help a person who is not responding and has stopped breathing. CPR helps deliver oxygen rich blood to the body tissue when the body is not able to do this on its own. Infant CPR should be used in babies less than 12 months of age.
Infant Heart and Lung System
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CPR is given when an infant has stopped breathing. Reasons for this may include:
The outcome will depend on the cause and how soon effective CPR was started. Many victims are unable to regain a normal heartbeat after it has stopped.
It is possible that ribs will fracture or break during chest compressions.
Greater risk is involved if CPR is delayed or not done correctly.
Check for responsiveness. Tap the infant and ask loudly "Are you okay?" Call the infant's name if you know it. If the infant is unresponsive, follow these steps:
The length of time for CPR depends on the underlying causes and response time of medical help.
The victim is unconscious when CPR is given. The procedure does not hurt. There may be some soreness in the chest after regaining consciousness.
The emergency team will take over care when they arrive.
The victim will need to be taken to the hospital for evaluation following CPR.
Caring for Kids
American Heart Association. 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care Science: Part 1 executive summary. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/122/18_suppl_3/S640. Accessed November 16, 2012.
American Heart Association. Heartsaver First Aid with CPR and AED . Dallas, TX: American Heart Association; 2006
Berg MD, Schexnayder SM, et al. Part 13: Pediatric basic life support: 2010 American Heart Association guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency cardiovascular care. Circulation. 2010; 122: S862-S875
Finer NN, Horbar JD, et al. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the very low birth weight infant: the Vermont Oxford Network Experience. Pediatrics. 1999;104(3):428-434.
Otero L. What's new in neonatal resuscitation. Duval County Medical Society website. Available at http://www.dcmsonline.org/jax-medicine/2001journals/dec2001/resuscitation.htm. Published December 2001. Accessed November 16, 2012.
Topjian AA, Berg RA, et al. Pediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation: advances in science, techniques, and outcomes. Pediatrics. 2008 Nov;122(5):1086-98. Review.
Last reviewed December 2013 by Marcin Chwistek, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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