CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is an emergency response measure combining mouth-to-mouth resuscitation with chest compressions. CPR may be necessary during many different emergencies, including accidents, near-drowning, suffocation, poisoning, overdose, smoke inhalation, electrocution, and suspected heart attack or even sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
All parents should know how and when to administer CPR. Performed correctly, CPR can save a child's life by restoring breathing and blood flow until advanced life support can be given by medical professionals. Anyone responsible for the care of others should take a course to gain hands-on experience and a comprehensive understanding of the technique. If CPR is needed, performing the technique with proper form will give someone the best chance of recovery.
CPR is most successful when administered as soon as possible, but it is important to first determine if it is necessary. CPR should only be performed when a person isn't breathing or circulating blood adequately. In such cases, CPR can restore circulation of oxygen-rich blood to the brain. Without oxygen, permanent brain damage or death can occur in less than 8 minutes.
Nearby hospitals, fire departments, and your local chapters of the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Red Cross are good sources for finding a CPR course in your area. Qualified instructors may demonstrate proper technique using a combination of videos, printed materials, and infant-, child-, and adult-sized practice mannequins.
Bottom line: being CPR-trained could help you save your child's - or someone else's - life.
Before performing CPR, determine that you can safely approach the victim, quickly evaluate whether the person is responsive, and check if the victim is breathing. If you are unable determine whether someone is breathing, you should begin CPR and continue until help arrives.
The three basic parts of CPR are easily remembered as Call, Blow, and Pump.
Check the victim for unresponsiveness. If there is no response, Call 911 and return to the victim. In most locations the emergency dispatcher can assist you with CPR instructions.
Tilt the head back and listen for breathing. If not breathing normally, check that the airway is clear, pinch nose and cover the mouth with yours and blow until you see the chest rise. Give 2 breaths. Each breath should take 1 second.
If the victim is still not breathing normally, coughing or moving, begin chest compressions. Push down on the chest 1½ to 2 inches 30 times right between the nipples. Pump at the rate of 100/minute, faster than once per second.
- Destination Mom