Knowing how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an invaluable skill to have. However, there’s one thing to remember before learning it. CPR is meant to be used differently on different demographics, and there’s a good reason for it.
Namely, CPR revolves around specific steps involving chest compressions that should be done at a specific depth and frequency. However, those parameters are not the same for adults, elders, or children. This is mainly because of the person’s anatomy and the possibility of injuring a victim of a sudden cardiac arrest while compressing their chest using more pressure than needed.
Join us as we elaborate how tailoring techniques for different populations is important. Learn CPR for all ages, and understand the significance of proper CPR for Oakland residents.
The Three Basic CPR Techniques
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation techniques are divided into three main categories: adult CPR, infant CPR, and child CPR. Each of them is meticulously developed to follow the age group anatomy and other factors relevant to the success of the CPR technique.
Here’s how to perform CPR on each age demographic:
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to perform CPR on an adult, it’s crucial to call 911 immediately before starting CPR. After that, take the following steps:
- To begin, check for a pulse, and if none is detected, begin CPR with chest compressions.
- If you’re not CPR-certified, don’t worry; the 911 dispatcher will walk you through hands-only CPR.
- Keep a steady, firm rhythm while pressing the person’s chest (a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute is ideal).
- For those who are CPR-certified, the ratio to follow is 30 compressions to two rescue breaths.
- Use an automated external defibrillator (AED) if available.
With mind-blowing statistics showing more than 7,000 children suffer an OHCA each year, the importance of learning infant and child CPR cannot be stressed enough. When performing CPR on an infant, it’s extremely important to deliver extra care since they are so delicate.
First, make sure that the baby is not conscious and avoid shaking them. Instead, shout and tap the soles of their feet. After that, do the following:
- Reach for the arm and look for a pulse on the inside part of the arm, and if none is detected, start CPR right away.
- Begin CPR on the infant before calling 911 if there is no one else at the scene to make the call.
- While delivering rescue breaths, lean the baby’s head gently backward so that its nose looks like it’s sniffing the air (the “sniffing position”).
- Gently deliver rescue breaths and blow air into the baby’s nose and mouth.
- For compressions, place two fingers on the baby’s chest, right in the center, and apply about an inch and a half of depth; give 2 rescue breaths after 30 compressions.
- If an AED is available, use pediatric pads after five cycles of CPR or an adult AED if pediatric settings are not accessible.
You can use the steps of child CPR to give first aid to a child up to puberty or a child weighing less than 121 pounds:
- When performing CPR on a child, start CPR before calling 911, as their chances of survival are higher when CPR is done instantly. If there’s no one there but you, and you need to decide whether to call 911 or do CPR first, always choose chest compressions.
- Exercise caution when providing rescue breaths to children, as their airways are more fragile. Avoid tilting the head back too far.
- Depending on how big the child is, use one or two hands for chest compression. Apply compressions with a depth of one inch and a half.
Follow the same compression-to-rescue breath ratio of 30:2 as in adult CPR. If an AED is available, use pediatric pads after five cycles of CPR or an adult AED if pediatric settings are not available.
Distinctions Between Infant CPR and Child CPR
Infant CPR and child CPR differ in several key aspects due to the physiological and anatomical differences between infants (up to 1 year old) and children (1-year-old to puberty or weighing less than 121 pounds). Here are the primary differences that separate infant CPR from child CPR:
- Compression technique
Infant CPR: When performing chest compressions on an infant, you use two fingers (usually the index and middle finger) at the center of the baby’s chest.
Child CPR: For children, you should normally use one or both hands for chest compressions (if the child is smaller, one hand is enough; if they’re bigger, use both of your hands).
- Compression depth
Infant CPR: When it comes to the depth of compressions for infants, keeping it around 1.5 inches deep is the ideal depth rate, which is somewhat shallower than in child CPR.
Child CPR: The recommended compression depth for children is around one and a half to two inches.
- Rescue breaths
Infant CPR: When delivering rescue breaths to an infant, lean the baby’s head back gently to make the nose appear as if sniffing air. The breaths are administered by puffing air into the infant’s mouth and nose using your cheeks with gentle force.
Child CPR: Rescue breaths for children are delivered by giving breaths into the child’s mouth while maintaining a proper seal and providing enough volume of air. It is important to exercise caution not to tilt the head back too far.
All of the above is elementary in sustaining a positive pediatric Chain of Survival. As you can see, the delicate nature of children and infants makes CPR techniques for these demographics a lot different than adult CPR.
Gathering Proper CPR Knowledge Is Fast and Affordable
Today, anyone can learn how to perform CPR, and we mean literally anyone willing to learn. You can choose to attend a CPR course in person or opt for the online alternative. Additionally, there’s an option to receive a CPR certification through a blended learning model, which includes aspects from both learning methods.
For example, if you’re in Oakland, CPR certification centers offer affordable CPR, BLS, and First Aid classes certified by the American Heart Association and Red Cross. You can choose a class that suits your schedule the most and rest assured you have received your training from a reputable AHA-certified training site.
Final Say on CPR For All Ages: Tailoring Techniques for Different Populations
Performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation goes a long way in saving someone’s life during a medical emergency. The technique used for CPR can differ among adults, children, and infants. While the overall procedure and steps are quite similar, there are some notable differences in adult CPR, child CPR, and infant CPR.
When it comes to CPR, understanding the differences between adult, child, and infant techniques is crucial. For infants, you’ll use only two fingers during chest compressions, while for adults, the heel of one hand is used. For children, it can be two hands or the heel of one hand depending on their size.
Remember, receiving proper CPR training is essential to provide the most effective care. Learning CPR is not limited to medical professionals; it’s important for everyone. Don’t hesitate to perform CPR when appropriate, as it can truly save lives.
How long do Infant CPR classes take?
In general, how long infant CPR classes last depends on the particular course and the provider(s) of the training. Typically, infant CPR classes range from 2 to 4 hours.
Who are Adult CPR classes intended for?
Anyone who wants to learn a precious life-saving skill can sign up for a CPR class. In general, Adult CPR classes are most suitable (and obligatory in some states) for first responders, teachers, coaches, workplace safety teams, caregivers, and so on.
What will I learn in a Child CPR class?
When attending a Child CPR class, you will gain an understanding of the proper way to perform chest compressions, how to deliver rescue breaths and use an AED. You’ll also learn how to identify an SCA in children, how to activate EMS (emergency medical services) and gain valuable knowledge in pediatric resuscitation.