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ESSENTIAL TIPS TO PERFORM CPR ON A CHILD

Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality healthcare, provides these essential steps to perform CPR on a child in light of World Restart a Heart Day (16 October).

 

Did you know that parents are typically the initial responders in most emergencies involving children? Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving procedure administered when a person’s heart stops beating or breathing stops.

 

Every second counts when children have difficulty breathing due to poisoning, drowning, smoke inhalation, or choking; in such situations, CPR can assist in alleviating respiratory problems and save a child’s life.

 

“In less than five minutes, insufficient oxygen to the brain can cause brain damage and, in the worst case, death. Typically, five minutes is insufficient for Emergency Services to arrive. High-quality CPR can double a potential survivor’s chances of life. It is a necessary ability that everyone should possess. Even though we are all aware of the significance of CPR, most individuals have not attended a course or refresher in a very long time,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.

When and Why Would A Child Need CPR?

According to Affinity Health, the following are frequent causes for which children need CPR:

 

  1. Choking
  2. Drowning
  3. Electrification
  4. Extreme bleeding
  5. Trauma to the head
  6. Lung disease
  7. Poisoning
  8. Suffocation

 

According to Hewlett, one should administer CPR immediately if the child is not breathing, has no pulse, or is unconscious.

 

“CPR situations are more frequent than you may believe. Statistics indicate that children are involved in more CPR accidents than other medical issues. The number is significantly greater during the warmer months. Before the emergency unit arrives, chest compressions keep the blood flowing, supplying oxygen to crucial organs such as the brain. Parents who know CPR had often saved their children’s lives before medical assistance arrived,” adds Hewlett.

Before Administering CPR

Look for a response from the patient by asking their name out loud and squeezing their shoulder.

Verify that their mouth and throat are free of debris. Remove any obstructions from the mouth or nose, such as vomit, blood or food particles.

You should start CPR if the person

  1. Is unconscious
  2. Is not responding to you
  3. Is not breathing, or is breathing abnormally

How To Perform CPR On A Baby Or Child

Even if you’ve completed a course in child CPR, it’s a good idea to keep the instructions on hand so that the information remains fresh in your mind. With Affinity Health’s printable step-by-step guide, you may access the steps for kid and infant CPR at any time, from any location. Print these out and keep them in your vehicle, office, kitchen, or other first aid items; then, periodically review them to maintain your skills.

 

CPR consists of chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth (rescue breaths) that aid in blood and oxygen circulation throughout the body. CPR can help preserve the brain and other essential organs.

How to administer CPR to infants under one year

Chest compressions

  1. Place the infant on its back.
  2. Position two fingers on the bottom half of the breastbone at the centre of the chest and press down about one-third of the chest’s depth.
  3. Relax the tension. Pressing down and letting go constitutes one compression.

Mouth-to-mouth

  1. Very slightly, tilt the baby’s head backwards.
  2. Lift the baby’s chin and avoid placing your hands on their throat since this will prevent air from entering their lungs via mouth-to-mouth.
  3. Take a breath and cover the baby’s lips and nose with your mouth to ensure a good seal.
  4. Continuously blow for approximately one second while seeing the chest rise.
  5. Following the baby’s breath, observe the chest and watch for it to fall. Listen and feel for indications of air expulsion.
  6. If their chest does not rise, recheck their mouth and nostrils for obstructions and remove them. Ensure that the infant’s head is in a neutral posture to open the airway and that there is a tight seal around the mouth and nose to prevent air from escaping.
  7. Take a second breath, then repeat.

 

Perform 30 compressions followed by two breaths, and continue to repeat compressions followed by breaths until you see signs of life or help arrives.

How to administer CPR to toddlers older than one year

Use these instructions only if you cannot use both hands to perform chest compressions on the child.

Chest compressions

  1. Kneel beside the child while placing them on their back.
  2. Place the heel of one hand on the bottom half of the child’s breastbone, in the middle of the chest (the child’s size will determine if you do CPR with one hand or two hands).
  3. Place yourself on top of the child’s chest.
  4. Maintaining a straight arm or arms, press directly down on their chest by one-third of the chest depth.
  5. Relax the tension. Pressing down and letting go constitutes one compression.

 

Mouth-to-mouth

  1. Open the child’s airway by placing one hand on the child’s forehead or crown and the other under the child’s chin to tilt the head back.
  2. Close the soft portion of the nose with your index and middle finger.
  3. With your thumb and fingers, open the child’s mouth.
  4. Take a deep breath and position your lips over the child’s mouth to create a seal.
  5. Continuously blow into their mouth for approximately one second while seeing the chest rise.
  6. Following the child’s breath, observe the chest and watch for it to fall. Listen and feel for indications of air expulsion. Maintain the tilted head and chin-up position.
  7. If the chest does not rise, recheck the mouth for obstructions and remove them. Ensure that the head is inclined and the chin is raised to widen the airway. Ensure your mouth and the infants lock together, and the nose is closed so air cannot easily escape. Take a second breath, then repeat.

 

Perform 30 compressions followed by two breaths, and continue to repeat compressions followed by breaths until you see signs help arrives.

How to administer CPR to older children

Chest compressions

  1. Kneel beside the child as they are positioned on their back.
  2. Place the heel of your hand in the centre of the chest, on the lower half of the breastbone. Place the second hand atop the first and interlock the fingers.
  3. Position yourself over the chest of the patient.
  4. Using your total weight (not just your arms) and maintaining your arms straight, press one-third of the chest depth directly down on their chest.
  5. Relax the tension. Pressing down and letting go constitutes one compression.

Mouth-to-mouth

  1. Place one hand on the forehead or top of the head and the other under the child’s chin to tilt the head back and open the airway.
  2. Close the soft portion of the nose with your index and middle finger.
  3. Open the child’s mouth with your thumb and index finger.
  4. Take a breath and position your lips over the patient’s mouth to create a seal.
  5. Continuously blow into their mouth for approximately one second while seeing the chest rise.
  6. Following the child’s breath, observe the chest and look for it to descend. Listen and feel for indications of air expulsion. Maintain the tilted head and chin-up position.
  7. If the chest does not rise, recheck the mouth for obstructions and remove them. Ensure that the head is inclined and the chin is raised to widen the airway. Ensure your mouth and the patients lock together, and the nose is closed so air cannot easily escape. Take a second breath, then repeat.

 

Perform 30 compressions followed by two breaths, and continue to repeat compressions followed by breaths until you see signs help arrives.

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading provider of health insurance, offering you a range of options at affordable rates including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, your budget, and your lifestyle. Our range of healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service at all times. For more information, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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