When performing infant CPR, consistency is vital

Pamela Rauseo said she let instinct take over as she pulled off a Florida highway yesterday and began giving CPR to her 5-month-old nephew on the side of the road.

The Miami infant is recovering in the hospital, but what if Rauseo had been alone?

High intensity CPR is now the new state protocol for adults and involves only fast and hard chest compressions.

Care for an infant is much different.

“With an adult, when they go into cardiac arrest it's normally something that has to do with their heart,” said Nathan Harig of Cumberland Goodwill EMS in Carlisle, “With an infant, it's especially possible that they have a problem with their airway.”

Harig says that if an infant is not breathing at all and appears blue, try stimulation. For example, tap the baby on the foot and shout the child's name. Call for help if you can. If you don't notice any kind of response from the baby, you need to launch into infant CPR.

“You can do it with just two fingers right in the center of the breast bone, and that allows enough recoil and enough actual chest compression to pump the blood, but not too much to damage the infant,” Harig said.

You will give 30 fast pumps to the beat of the song Staying Alive, then move to the mouth.

“You are going to actually give breaths into the patients just enough to see the chest rise you give two breaths than right back into that 30 chest compressions,” Harig said.

Harig says to perform infant CPR for two minutes and if you haven't called for 911 yet, do it then and immediately continue the pattern. An infant's life depends on that consistency.

Steps in Infant CPR as outlined by the American Heart Association:

1. Tap and shout. Yell for help. If you can, send someone to phone 911.

2. Look for no breathing or only gasping.

3. Push hard and fast. Give 30 compressions.

4. Open the airway and give 2 breaths.

5. Repeat sets of 30 compressions and 2 breaths.

*If you are after 5 sets of 30 compressions and 2 breaths, phone 911, and resume sets of 30:2.

For more information on attending a training class on either infant or adult high intensity CPR, contact Cumberland Goodwill EMS at the website cumberlandgoodwill.org/40/ or contact:

Assistant Chief/Training Coordinator Jeff Salisbury at 717-249-0012 Ext. 7001

You can also email training@cgfrems.org


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