Save a Little Life

Man, are we educated soon-to-be-parents! Childbirth class, check. Infant care, check. Breastfeeding class, next week.

And last Tuesday evening we took our Infant CPR class at the Pump Station in Hollywood, taught by a company called Save a Little Life (what a great name for an Infant CPR class, right?!).

Richard was our instructor, and he has 20 years of lifesaving experience, is an RN and has been teaching Infant CPR in particular for 10 years. He did a great job of putting us “in the moment” as we practiced on our “babies” by walking us through scenarios and counting out the pumps and breaths as we learned. There’s also a lot of lifesaving tips and updates on their site, if you’re interested?

Anyway, needless to say it was an eye-opening experience – and though I hope we never need to actually USE the techniques we learned, I’m certainly glad we went! I know a lot of folks have taken CPR classes over time, so I won’t bore you with the details. And there are subtle differences between infant/child and adult CPR, though not as many as I’d thought.

However, there WERE a few things we learned that according to Richard have changed over the past 2 years as far as lifesaving STANDARDS are concerned, so I thought those might be worth sharing!

LIFESAVING (CPR) TODAY, according to Richard:

  1. Mouth-to-mouth is no longer recommended for adults, period. In fact, though it’s still recommended as a starting point for infant/children, it’s only to determine whether or not there’s anything blocking the airway. Apparently it’s been proven that mouth-to-mouth doesn’t actually get enough oxygen to the brain to do much good, BUT if you can pump someone’s heart for them, enough oxygen should make it to keep them alive.
  2. Speaking of that, CPR on adults is highly unlikely to “save” them. Without a defibrillator, all the CPR in the world isn’t enough to jumpstart their heart. CPR on adults is simply meant to keep them alive until medical help arrives.
  3. HOWEVER, for infants and children, CPR can actually “bring them back to life”. Biggest reason for that is that the reason their heart stops is generally choking or drowning, not a blood clot or blockage at/near the heart.
  4. Sweeping the mouth of a choking victim is only good if you can see the entire object that’s blocking the airway. Otherwise, you are just as (if not more) likely to push the object further down the airway…
  5. The new rhythm for infant/child CPR is 30 pumps, 2 breaths (vs. the old 5 pumps, a breath) – see number one above to see why, but needless to say, this is quite different that what we see on TV.

We also learned that 1 in 5 drowning incidents happen with an adult present… That’s a fact I’d like to forget, but then, I’ve got the 2nd fastest Butterfly swimmer in Minnesota on my team, so no need to worry, right? Well, he was 2nd fastest when he was 8 years old… but I’m banking on muscle memory ;)

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One thought on “Save a Little Life

  1. My husband and I found the CPR class to be the most useful class out of them all. We try to retake the class together annually; or at least while my kids were putting things into their mouths.

    Pragmatic Mom

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