Basic Infant Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

3829913423_44d944f361_zMayka is painting in her studio. Suddenly, the doorbell rings: it is her neighbour, who is very nervous and scared because her son David, a 12-year-old boy who suffers from heart problems, has collapsed on the ground and she doesn’t know what to do. Mayka goes with her and after a brief assessment she begins to perform basic CPR manoeuvres on him while David’s mother calls 112…

Basic Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is the name given to the manoeuvres that are necessary to effectively replace a person’s breathing and blood circulation functions by ventilation (mouth-to-mouth or mouth-to-mouth-and-nose breathing) and cardiac massage respectively. These manoeuvres are intended to keep alive the person who has suffered a cardiorespiratory arrest for any reason, until more expert help comes to replace us and use other procedures to stabilize and take the patient to a hospital.

Although, fortunately, cardiorespiratory arrest in children is not common outside the hospital and is usually the result of the progressive deterioration of a particular disease, it sometimes happens suddenly, as in adults (due to choking or sudden death from cardiac arrhythmias, for example), and in the presence of other people. These people can save the child’s life if they are trained to perform an adequate basic CPR, especially if it is done in the first 4 minutes of the event.

In other European countries there is more social consciousness about this issue and so basic CPR courses are being offered even to children and adolescents at school. Although this consciousness has some delay here in Spain, new courses are progressively being taught by trained personnel to everybody who is interested, and the Ministry of Education is considering its inclusion in the primary and secondary school curricula. Hopefully these courses will obtain the same diffusion as in our neighbouring countries, because it will be beneficial for everyone’s health and safety.

It is essential that everyone, and not only healthcare staff, knows how to do basic CPR, especially if a child is near you or under your charge (teachers, nursery caregivers, classmates and parents themselves). It is so important that ten years later, thanks to Mayka’s knowledge and training, David can teach CPR courses to students at his former school and continue saving lives…

 Published on 27 april 2013 in Diario Información of Alicante