Performing Infant CPR


The baby and adult CPR instructions contained in this site are only a reference on how to perform CPR. They are not intended to be your only guide. Everybody should be properly trained for CPR by qualified instructors.

Many people believe that a drowning is a result of water in the lungs. This is a misconception. Drowning occurs when the water in the air passage blocks air flow to the lungs. Therefore, suffocation kills the drowning victim.

When the victim is pulled from the pool, or other body of water, the water in the stomach, air passage or in the mouth will be expelled by the movement. If the rescuer believes that water still remaining in the victim would make performing CPR difficult, the victim should be turned on his side to allow for any water to drain out.

Once a pulse has been restored and the victim is breathing after CPR has been performed, the victim should be put on his side again in case of vomiting.

There are different methods of CPR, depending on the age of the victim. They are described as follows:

Determine that you have a victim. Shake the infant gently by the shoulders, flick a finger on the bottom of a foot. If there is no response, have someone call 911 immediately.

Open airway using head tilt-chin lift. Place upper hand on victim’s forehead, pushing it back. Fingers on lower hand go on victim’s jawbone, directly under chin, helping to raise it.

Check for breathing. This must be done in three to five seconds and is a three-way check. Rescuer’s ear is close to victim’s mouth to hear breathing; feel warm air on cheek; see movement in victim’s chest.

Begin breathing. Seal the infant’s mouth and nose with your mouth. Breathe twice, each inhalation one to 11/2 seconds. Pause one second or less between each breath, allowing chest to deflate.

Check brachial pulse on the inside of the infant’s arm between the elbow and shoulder. Use the tips of two fingers and check for five to 10 seconds. Do not use the thumb because it has its own pulse.

Prepare for chest compressions. Use index finger of upper hand and locate an imaginary line between nipples on breastbone. Place index and middle fingers of lower hand vertically next to index finger. Remove upper hand.

Begin compressions. Using the two fingers, do five compressions in three seconds or less. Keep fingers on the breastbone during each upstroke.

Ventilate once. Fingers still remaining on the infant’s chest, breathe once. Keep your eyes focused on the chest. Do 10 cycles of compressions and one ventilation each in 45 seconds or less.

Check brachial pulse. Hold brachial artery again for five seconds. Ventilate again.

Repeat compression-ventilation cycles. Check pulse every few minutes.


Reproduced with permission from:
The Arizona Republic
©Copyright 1999 Arizona Republic