What Is Not Correct When Doing CPR on an Infant
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving technique performed during emergencies to restore blood circulation and breathing in individuals experiencing cardiac arrest. While CPR is a crucial skill that can greatly improve the chances of survival, it is essential to understand that performing CPR on an infant requires specific knowledge and techniques. Unfortunately, many misconceptions exist regarding infant CPR, which can potentially do more harm than good. In this article, we will discuss some common mistakes and misconceptions related to infant CPR.
One of the most critical mistakes made when performing CPR on an infant is applying too much force. Infants are delicate, and their bones and organs are still developing. Applying excessive pressure during chest compressions can lead to serious injuries, such as fractured ribs or damage to internal organs. It is crucial to remember that the depth of compressions should be about one-third the depth of the chest, which is approximately 4 centimeters or 1.5 inches.
Another common mistake is not providing rescue breaths. While chest compressions are vital, providing rescue breaths is equally important during infant CPR. Some individuals may assume that chest compressions alone can be sufficient, but without the combination of rescue breaths, the oxygen supply to the infant’s brain and organs will be insufficient. The ratio of compressions to breaths during infant CPR is 30:2.
Inaccurate hand placement is another error frequently made during infant CPR. Placing the hands too high or too low on the infant’s chest can lead to ineffective compressions. The correct hand placement is to use two or three fingers in the center of the infant’s chest, just below the nipple line.
Additionally, it is crucial to avoid stopping CPR prematurely. Infant CPR should be continued until emergency medical services arrive or until the infant shows signs of life. Stopping prematurely can significantly reduce the chances of successful resuscitation.
Now, let’s address some frequently asked questions about infant CPR:
1. Can I perform CPR on an infant with one hand?
No, it is recommended to use two or three fingers for chest compressions during infant CPR.
2. Should I tilt the infant’s head back to open the airway?
No, tilting the head back can potentially block the airway further. Instead, gently tilt the infant’s head to a neutral position.
3. How fast should I perform chest compressions?
Chest compressions should be performed at a rate of around 100-120 compressions per minute.
4. Can I perform CPR on a choking infant?
If the infant is responsive but choking, perform back blows and chest thrusts instead of CPR.
5. Should I check for a pulse before starting CPR?
For an unresponsive infant, it is safest to assume there is no pulse and begin CPR immediately.
6. Should I give the infant water during CPR?
No, do not give any food or water during CPR. This can cause further complications.
7. Can I perform CPR on a soft surface like a bed or couch?
It is recommended to perform CPR on a firm surface like the floor or a table to ensure effective compressions.
8. Can I perform CPR on a newborn?
The technique for newborn CPR is slightly different as their bodies are more fragile. Seek specific guidance for newborn resuscitation.
9. Should I stop CPR if the infant starts breathing?
No, continue CPR until the infant shows signs of life or emergency medical services take over.
10. Can I perform CPR on an infant with a pacemaker?
Yes, CPR can be performed on an infant with a pacemaker. However, be cautious and avoid placing pressure directly over the pacemaker.
11. Should I give the infant rescue breaths if their chest is already rising?
No, if the infant’s chest is rising, continue with chest compressions and reassess their breathing regularly.
12. Can I perform CPR on a premature infant?
Yes, the same CPR techniques can be used for premature infants. Adjust the force of compressions accordingly.
Remember, the purpose of this article is to provide general information about what is not correct when doing CPR on an infant. However, it is always recommended to seek proper training and certification in CPR to ensure accurate knowledge and skills.