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Infant Heimlich Maneuver and CPR

If you succeed in dislodging the object from your baby's throat, but she is still not breathing, or she has stopped breathing for another reason (such as drowning), begin CPR immediately. If you have not called 911 yet or asked someone else to do so, perform 5 cycles (about 2 minutes) of CPR before stopping to call 911.

Gently place your baby on her back on the floor. Make sure her airway is open by lifting her chin gently, tipping her head back slowly. Locate her sternum again and depress her chest between 1/2 and one inch. Be sure to allow the chest to recoil completely before beginning the next compression. Give 30 rapid chest compressions (at a rate of approximately 100 compressions per minute), then place your mouth over your baby's nose and mouth, making a tight seal with your lips and give two slow, gentle breaths. Be careful not to blow too much air into your baby's airways; this can damage her lungs. Continue to alternate 30 chest compressions with two breaths until help arrives or your baby begins breathing on her own. If your breath does not move her chest up and down, move her head and neck into a slightly different position and give one more breath. If you still don't see her chest move with your breath, her airway may still be blocked and you should continue with back blows.

The American Heart Association recently changed their CPR recommendations, stating that CPR without breaths (compressions or Hands-Only CPR) is as effective as conventional CPR (with breaths). However, Hands-Only CPR (compressions only) is NOT recommended for children. It is for adults only who have suddenly collapsed. CPR with breaths is still needed for children and people who are victims of drowning, electrocution or other respiratory events. (The new guidelines stress the importance of keeping the blood flowing. When a victim is in cardiac arrest, there is no blood flow and chest compressions are the only maneuver that creates a small amount of blood flow to the vital organs, such as the brain and heart. The better the chest compressions performed the more blood flow they produce. When chest compressions are interrupted, blood flow stops; and every time chest compressions begin again, the first few compressions are not as effective. The more interruptions in chest compressions, the worse the victim's chance of survival from cardiac arrest.)

Once your baby does resume breathing, get her to an emergency room as soon as possible. Even if she seems fully recovered, a doctor needs to make sure that her airway is completely clear and that she has not sustained any internal injuries.

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