Back in 2013, Stephen Michael from Jacksonville collapsed outside his home due to cardiac arrest. Immediately, Billy Green, a paramedic, rushed to his aid, providing consistent hands-only CPR until paramedics arrived with an AED.
Early delivery of chest compressions saved Green’s life. This particular story shines a light on the importance of bystander CPR and calls for all Jacksonville, Florida, residents to get training.
If a victim of sudden cardiac arrest receives CPR within the first few minutes upon collapsing, their survival chances can double and even triple. In this article, we’ll discuss CPR for different ages and how tailoring techniques for infants, children, and adults works.
CPR for Different Ages: Understanding the Differences
Physical differences in terms of the adult, child, and infant body require several adjustments to the CPR approach. For example, the pressure we apply when compressing the chest of an adult or child cannot be the same as the pressure we apply to the chest of a baby.
The CPR technique, on the other hand, remains the same. In all age groups, we imitate the heart’s pumping in order to provide oxygen to the brain and the vital organs, avoiding prolonged oxygen deprivation.
If you want to help a victim of sudden cardiac arrest, you have to know the links of the chain of survival for the particular age group. Below, we’ll introduce you to each CPR method, how it works step by step, and how you can tailor it to be easier for you:
Infant CPR: Chain of Survival
Infant CPR refers to the technique applied to a baby younger than a year old. The steps go as follows:
Check for Responsiveness
If a baby appears unresponsive, there are a few ways to check it for responsiveness. First, try shouting the baby’s name if you know it. If there’s no reaction, tap its foot and shout again while checking for signs of life. You can remember this step as the shout-tap-shout method.
If the baby remains unresponsive, call 911 immediately or have someone else do it for you. Then, gather any equipment you need and prep for CPR.
You should always get consent from the parent or a guardian first if they’re around. If the baby’s alone, you should help them regardless.
Give 30 Chest Compressions
Infant CPR requires using your thumbs and pushing 1 ½ inches deep on the baby’s chest. The tempo has to be 100-120 beats per minute, following the rhythm of “Stayin’ Alive”. You can sing the song if that helps you maintain a rhythm.
Give 30 chest compressions before checking for signs of life again. If there’s still no response, move on to rescue breaths.
Give 2 Rescue Breaths
You should give 2 rescue breaths for every 30 compressions. Make sure you open the baby’s airway to a neutral position by tilting its head or lifting its chin. Each breath should last a second.
Use an AED
CPR combined with defibrillation is the most effective method for reviving a cardiac arrest victim, raising survival rates by 49-75% if delivered within the first 3-5 minutes.
If you find an AED nearby, take it and use it on the baby. Most AEDs in public spaces are fully automated and provide step-by-step instructions for the safe delivery of electric shocks.
Leave the Baby to the First Responders
Once the ambulance takes over the case, they will complete the final step of the pediatric chain of survival—post-treatment care. This step is just as important as any other because the victim has to be closely monitored for signs of brain damage due to lack of oxygen.
The post-treatment care lasts a few days, after which the baby will be discharged once its condition is stable.
Child CPR refers to children older than a year up to 12 years old. Let’s see how it works:
Check for Responsiveness
Again, you have to check for responsiveness before giving CPR. Checking a child for responsiveness involves all the steps we mentioned above, except you’ll tap their shoulder instead of their foot.
If there’s no feedback from the child, call 911 immediately or shout for someone nearby to do it and start with compressions.
Begin with Chest Compressions
Start by kneeling beside the child and placing both your hands on its chest, one over the other. Make sure your fingers are interlaced and only the heel of your hand is on the chest. Give 30 chest compressions at a depth of 2 inches at the same rhythm (100-120).
Give Rescue Breaths
Before giving rescue breaths, make sure the child’s airway is in a past-neutral position by tilting its head or lifting its chin. The compression-to-rescue-breath rate remains the same as in infants. Finally, provide enough oxygen to see the chest rise.
Lastly, keep up with the CPR until the EMS arrives. Make sure you switch with someone if your hands feel weak because losing the CPR rhythm does more damage than good to the patient.
CPR for Adults
CPR for adults is considered more common knowledge than pediatric CPR. Still, you may not be aware of the step-by-step CPR instructions for adults, which go as follows:
Check for Responsiveness
You always check for responsiveness no matter the age of the victim. Again, use the shout-tap shout method. If the victim remains unconscious, you can start CPR, but only after calling 911.
Call for Help
Before you start with the compressions, ask someone to call 911. If you’re alone, make sure you dial 911 and start hands-only CPR in the meantime.
Give Chest Compressions
Before giving 30 chest compressions, make sure the victim’s lying on their back flat against the surface. Then, place both your hands on the center of their chest and maintain a depth of 2 inches or more if necessary.
Give Rescue Breaths
Again, give 2 rescue breaths after every 30 compressions, but first, make sure the victim’s airway is in a past-neutral position. If you’re not confident doing this step, you may stick to hands-only CPR.
Use an AED
Nowadays, the public areas with the most recorded cardiac arrest cases have an AED nearby. Get another bystander to look for the AED sign and bring it to you afterwards—you shouldn’t leave the victim alone or stop with CPR.
Once the AED is in your hands, place the AED electrode pads on the victim’s chest, eliminating any contact with their clothes or other accessories. Then, follow the screen instructions and start resuscitation.
Continue with CPR Until EMS Arrive
You need to continue with the CPR until the ambulance arrives on the scene to take over the case. It shouldn’t take too long to arrive, but in case the ambulance is late, you should ask someone else to continue with CPR.
Get CPR Certification for Different Ages in Jacksonville
If you want to help in lowering the number of sudden cardiac arrest deaths but struggle with your confidence, you should look into CPR classes in Jacksonville.
Although you can enroll in online, in-person, or hybrid CPR classes, we suggest sticking to the in-person CPR classes because online classes only cover the theoretical part. In-person or hybrid classes cover both theoretical and practical parts.
During the practical part, you will be able to practice your skills on a manikin under the supervision of a licensed trainer. At the end of the course, you’ll receive an exam, and if you pass, you’ll get a CPR certificate valid for 2 years.
CPR for Different Ages: Final Say
CPR is a universal reanimating technique that comes with tailored step-by-step instructions for different ages. The reason for this is the physique of the body at a given age that requires specific application of pressure, chest depth, etc.
If you want to help victims of sudden cardiac arrest, you should enroll in a CPR class in Jacksonville. CPR classes cover the basic skills and CPR techniques you need to know to help a victim in need. You may take Pediatric and Adult CPR or Adult-only CPR classes—it all depends on your preferences and needs.
We hope we helped you understand the differences in CPR for different ages and simultaneously encouraged you to become more aware and active in the fight against sudden cardiac arrest death rates.