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Rescue breathing and chest compressions - child; Resuscitation - cardiopulmonary - child; Cardiopulmonary resuscitation - child
CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is a lifesaving procedure that is done when someone's breathing or heartbeat has stopped,. This may happen after drowning, suffocation, choking, or injuries. CPR involves:
This article discusses CPR in children ages 1 - 8.
Permanent brain damage or death can occur within minutes if a child's blood flow stops. Therefore, you must continue CPR until the child's heartbeat and breathing return, or trained medical help arrives.
CPR can be lifesaving, but it is best done by someone trained in an accredited CPR course. The newest techniques emphasize compression over rescue breathing and airway, reversing long-standing practice.
The procedures described in this article are not a substitute for CPR training.
All parents and those who take care of children should learn infant and child CPR if they haven't already. See
Time is very important when dealing with an unconscious child who is not breathing. Permanent brain damage begins after only 4 minutes without oxygen, and death can occur as soon as 4 - 6 minutes later.
Machines called automated external defibrillators (AEDs) can be found in many public places, and are available for home use. These machines have pads or paddles to place on the chest during a life-threatening emergency. They use computers to automatically check the heart rhythm and give a sudden shock if, and only if, that shock is needed to get the heart back into the right rhythm.
When using an AED, follow the instructions exactly.
There are many things that cause an child's heartbeat and breathing to stop. Some reasons you may need to do CPR on a child include:
Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee, Subcommittees, and Task Forces of the American Heart Association. 2005 American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care. Circulation. 2005;112(24 Suppl):IV1-IV203.
Hazinski MF, Samson R, Schexnayder S. 2010 Handbook of Emergency Cardiovascular Care for Healthcare Providers. American Heart Association. November 2010.
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