As some of you may have noticed, Babies are not
built to the same specifications as adults and children. To begin with, they are
a lot softer, and they seem to have no necks! This makes the ABC of
resuscitation slightly different.
To begin with, lay the infant on a hard surface
that is within your reach. The floor is a long way down. Use a table, or
sideboard. Open the airway by tilting the head very slightly back, not as far as
you would with an adult. Check the breathing in the normal way, but be aware
that a baby breathes faster than an adult or child, and you may not see chest
Hopefully the baby is breathing, if so, instead
of laying them down in the recovery position as you would for an adult or child,
Pick them up and hold them, with the head slightly lower than the rest of the
body, and the back to your chest.
If there is no breathing present, you need to
give some air. Cover both nose and mouth with your mouth and give a small puff.
(Imagine blowing out a candle). Do this 5 times, not 2 as with adults.
Now check for signs of pulse.
Being smaller and softer, using the pulse in the
neck can do damage to a baby, Therefore we check the pulse in the upper arm.
Place the flat of 3 fingers on the inside of the upper arm, and the thumb on the
outside. Using a light pressure you should then feel the brachial pulse. Is
there a pulse present? Is it more than 60 per min? If yes, carry on giving air
and get help fast. If the pulse is less than 60, assume no pulse and give
chest compressions. Again, there is a difference here. First, the pressure point
is about one finger below the nipple line. Just use 2 fingers, and depress the
chest about 1/3rd of the chest depth five times then give one
breath and continue at 5 compressions to one breath. (This must be on a
firm surface or the pressure will not go where needed). The chances of
resuscitating a baby successfully are higher than that of an adult, if you do
For more information, Call your local Red Cross
and ask about training. You will be surprised at how cheap and easy it is to
learn how to save lives.
First aid is not a subject that can be learned from books or articles. To become
a true first aider you need to undertake proper training that will give you the
opportunity to practice in a safe and controlled environment. Neither this
website, the author or the World Wide Information Outlet can or will be held
responsible for anything that happens as a result of this article. Having said
that, when a life is at stake, you should at least try. Under the 'good Samaritan'
law, provided your intention was to do good, nobody can touch you for it!