How To Check an Infant Pulse for CPR

CPR or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is lifesaving knowledge, especially during emergency situations. This is usually the first thing that’s done when a person, child or infant’s heart or breathing stops during cases of injuries, choking, suffocation or drowning. If you have kids or an infant at home, you should learn the basics of CPR for infants and children. CPR for infants includes 2 elements:

  • Compressions in the chest area which will keep the infant's blood circulating
  • Rescue breaths which will give the infant's lungs enough oxygen

Infants are harder to check for pulses than adults and children because of how tiny their organs are, so you are going to have a harder time checking for an infant pulse before you do CPR. In adults and children you only have to check their carotid artery for the pulse and it’s that easy. For infants, you will have to check for the brachial artery. The brachial artery is located in the infant's upper arm. You can find it usually between the 2 muscles at the insides of the upper arm.

In emergency cases where you have to administer or perform CPR on an infant, how do you check for its pulse in an effective way? Read on below.

  1. If the infant is already face up then there is no need to change the position. It is better if the infant is face up. If the infant fell and you suspect that there might be broken bones then don’t attempt to move the infant. Only if the infant did not fall that you make sure the infant is in a face up position.
  2. Check for any obstructions in the mouth and nose. You will need to check both the mouth and nose later on together with the infant's pulse so make sure that the mouth and nose are free of any obstructions.
  3. After checking for obstructions, check to see if the infant is still breathing through the mouth or nose. Check for breathing by placing your ears next to the infant's nose then place your own pointing and mid finger to check for the carotid at the brachial artery. After you have placed your 2 fingers there, check for a pulse. Don’t take up too much time checking for the pulse. Do the checking in 5-10 seconds.

The best course would be to allow trained professionals to check for the pulse and if there is no trained professional around then go ahead and call 911 at the first signs of trouble when you have discovered that your baby is not breathing. Above all, when you have infants, make sure that your house is infant proof and keep a close eye on your baby at all times. Better make your house infant safe if you have a baby. As the saying goes, better safe than sorry.


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