CPR for Different Ages: Tailoring Your Approach

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving technique that should be adapted to suit the age and physical condition of the victim. Providing CPR to an adult, child, or infant requires different techniques and considerations. In this guide, we'll explore how to tailor your CPR approach to different age groups.

CPR for Adults

Step 1: Assess Responsiveness

  • Approach the victim and shout, "Are you okay?" Tap their shoulder gently.
  • If there is no response, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

Step 2: Open the Airway

  • Tilt the person's head backward gently to open the airway using the "head-tilt, chin-lift" technique.
  • Remove any visible obstructions from the mouth or throat.

Step 3: Check for Breathing

  • Look for chest movement.
  • Listen and feel for breaths for about 10 seconds.
  • If there are no signs of breathing or only occasional gasps, begin chest compressions.

Step 4: Begin Chest Compressions

  • Position the person on their back on a flat surface.
  • Place the heel of one hand on the center of the person's chest, just below the nipple line.
  • Place your other hand on top of the first hand, interlocking your fingers.
  • Keep your elbows straight and shoulders directly over your hands.
  • Perform chest compressions at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute. Allow the chest to fully recoil between compressions.
  • Continue with 30 chest compressions followed by two rescue breaths.

CPR for Children (Ages 1 to Puberty)

Step 1: Assess Responsiveness

  • Follow the same steps as for adults: shout and tap gently.

Step 2: Open the Airway

  • Tilt the child's head backward gently to open the airway using the "head-tilt, chin-lift" technique.
  • Remove any visible obstructions from the mouth or throat.

Step 3: Check for Breathing

  • Look for chest movement.
  • Listen and feel for breaths for about 10 seconds.
  • If there are no signs of breathing or only occasional gasps, begin chest compressions.

Step 4: Begin Chest Compressions

  • Position the child on their back on a flat surface.
  • Use one or two hands for chest compressions, depending on the size of the child.
  • Compress the chest at a depth of about 2 inches (5 centimeters).
  • Perform chest compressions at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute.
  • Continue with 30 chest compressions followed by two rescue breaths.

CPR for Infants (Under 1 Year)

Step 1: Assess Responsiveness

  • Tap the infant's foot gently to check for responsiveness.

Step 2: Open the Airway

  • Tilt the infant's head backward gently to open the airway. Avoid overextending the neck.
  • Remove any visible obstructions from the mouth or throat.

Step 3: Check for Breathing

  • Look for chest movement and listen for breaths for about 10 seconds.
  • If there are no signs of breathing or only occasional gasps, begin rescue breaths.

Step 4: Begin Rescue Breaths

  • Cover both the infant's nose and mouth with your mouth to create an airtight seal.
  • Give two gentle rescue breaths, each lasting about one second and making the chest rise visibly.

Step 5: Begin Chest Compressions

  • Position the infant on their back on a firm surface.
  • Use two fingers to compress the infant's chest, just below the nipple line.
  • Compress the chest at a depth of about 1.5 inches (4 centimeters).
  • Perform chest compressions at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute.

Remember that providing CPR to children and infants requires gentler techniques and less force compared to adults. Tailoring your approach to the victim's age is essential for effective CPR and increasing the chances of survival in an emergency.

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