Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (car dee oh PULL mon air ee ree SUS I TA shun) is a combination of chest pumping (compressions) which moves blood from the heart to the body, and mouth-to-mouth breathing which sends oxygen to the lungs.
How the lungs and heart work
The lungs’ purpose is to breathe in (inhale) air that is made of oxygen, which we need to
live. The heart pumps the blood to the lungs and to the body.
The right side of the heart receives blood from the body and pumps it to the lungs. While
in the lungs, the blood absorbs oxygen and then returns to the left side of the heart. The blood with the oxygen is then pumped throughout the body. Then, when the body takes all the oxygen needed to live, the used blood returns to the lungs with carbon dioxide, which is the air we breathe out (exhale).
If the child stops breathing or the heart stops beating
If your child stops breathing, he or she is not getting the oxygen needed to stay alive. If breathing stops, the heart will also soon stop.
YOU MUST ACT IMMEDIATELY BY:
- Pumping the child's heart with your hand (compressing).
- Breathing air into the child’s lungs (ventilating).
How to do Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
If you think the child is not breathing:
- Check to see if the child will respond to you. Tap him gently and shake his shoulders to see if he will move.
- Call the child by name and ask, "Are you OK?"
- If the child does not respond, call out for someone to help you.
- If you are alone, call 911 either by using your cell phone and putting it on ‘Speakerphone’ or leave to use a phone. Then, start CPR.
- Place the child on the floor. (CPR must be done on a hard surface to work.)
- Turn the child on his or her back.
- Look from the child’s face and chest to see if the child is breathing. Look for at least 5 seconds but no more than 10 seconds.
- Remove clothing from child’s chest.
- Place the heel of one hand on the lower half of the breastbone between the nipples.
Put the heel of your other hand on top of the first hand (Picture 3). Compress the
child’s chest fast at a rate of 100 compressions per minute by pressing the breastbone
in about 2 inches. It will feel like you are pushing hard. Allow the chest to come back
up to its normal position after each compression.
- After you have compressed the chest 30 times, open the child’s airway for mouth-to-mouth breathing, using the head tilt-chin lift method
(see chart on page3, step 3). Tip the head back with one hand on the forehead.
Use the tips of the fingers of your other hand to lift the chin upward. Be careful not to close the child’s mouth all the way.
- Give 2 breaths to the child (See chart on page 3, step 4). To do this, pinch the child’s nose and cover the child’s mouth with your mouth to
form an airtight seal. Breathe in enough air to make the child’s chest rise. Remove your mouth after each breath to let the air come out.
- Repeat 30 compressions and 2 breaths until help arrives.
IMPORTANT: You must practice CPR on a mannequin (doll) with a nurse to be sure you are doing it correctly. This should be done before you leave the hospital.
NOTE: If you wish to become certified in CPR, contact the American Heart Association or the Red Cross in your community.
Resource: Guidelines 2010 for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Emergency Cardiovascular Care, American Heart Association.
Quick Reference for CPR
(Tape to a wall in a suitable place.)
(Breaths per minute_________________ Compressions per minute__________________)
Emergency Phone Numbers
Fill in the phone numbers, copy them, and tape them by your telephone:
HH-II-52 12/84, Revised 12/17 Copyright 1984, Nationwide Children's Hospital