Cardiac arrest in pediatric age group is most likely due to respiratory causes – Hypoxia (lack of Oxygen).
Having good knowledge about the Adult BLS would help you with this lesson. Click here to review adult BLS.
Scene safety (similar to adult BLS)
First, make sure it is safe for YOU to reach the victim. We do not encourage you to risk your life trying to save someone else. Some of the unsafe situations are listed below. Use your own justice to decide how safe it is for you, the list is just a guide:
- Victim is inside a collapsing building
- Victim is in a building on fire
- Victim is drowning and you can’t swim
- Victim is being electrocuted (current shock) – First disconnect the power.
In children, you may use the adult technique of tapping the shoulders firmly.
In infants, tap the feet (sole) to check response. Do not tap on shoulders.
If the child or infant is unresponsive, call for help by shouting and proceed to check pulse and breath.
Checking Pulse and Breathing
Check for pulse and breathing simultaneously for 5-10 seconds. (Not more than that). If in doubt, consider it as a cardiac arrest – no pulse situation.
In a child you can go ahead with checking Central pulses similar to adults (Carotid pulse at neck or Femoral pulse at groin). Review adult BLS section to know the technique of central pulse).
In an infant, the ideal place to check for a pulse is Brachial pulse (Place two fingers on the inner aspect of upper arm as shown in the pic).
For both infants and children, scan the chest and abdomen to see any breathing activity.
If there is no pulse and no breathing, there are 2 different scenarios.
1 – If the child has collapsed in front of you, you may call the EMS (Emergency medical services – Dial 112 in India) and return to start CPR.
2 – If you don’t know when the child or infant has collapsed, give CPR for 2 minutes and then call/activate EMS.
– If you are in a hospital, activate code blue (EMS) – please know the number to dial.
Single rescuer CPR
In children and infants, you can maintain the compression to ventilation ratio at 30:2 as in adults when you are giving CPR as a single rescuer. For every 30 compressions, provide 2 breaths.
Use AED as soon as possible (You may interrupt CPR to operate the AED as it has a higher priority in case the rhythm is shockable). Do not touch the victim when the AED is analyzing (Learn more about compressions and breaths in coming up lessons). Use of AED is covered in another lesson.