How to perform CPR on a baby 4 weeks old and older

To perform CPR on a baby 4 weeks old and older

Most cardiac arrests in babies occur from lack of oxygen, such as from drowning or choking. If you know the baby has an airway obstruction, perform first aid for choking. If you don’t know why the baby isn’t breathing, perform CPR.

To begin, examine the situation. Stroke the baby and watch for a response, such as movement, but don’t shake the baby.

If there’s no response, follow the C-A-B procedures below for a baby under age 1 (except newborns, which includes babies up to 4 weeks old) and time the call for help as follows:

  • If you’re the only rescuer and you didn’t see the baby collapse, do CPR for two minutes — about five cycles — before calling 911 or your local emergency number and getting the AED. If you did see the baby collapse, call 911 or your local emergency number and get the AED, if one is available, before beginning CPR.
  • If another person is available, have that person call for help immediately and get the AED while you attend to the baby.

Chest compressions

Chest compressions


Airway being opened

Open the airway


Rescue breathing

Rescue breathing

Compressions: Restore blood circulation

  1. Place the baby on his or her back on a firm, flat surface, such as a table. The floor or ground also will do.
  2. Imagine a horizontal line drawn between the baby’s nipples. Place two fingers of one hand just below this line, in the center of the chest.
  3. Gently compress the chest about 1.5 inches (about 4 centimeters).
  4. Count aloud as you pump in a fairly rapid rhythm. You should pump at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions a minute.

Airway: Open the airway

  • After 30 compressions, gently tip the head back by lifting the chin with one hand and pushing down on the forehead with the other hand.

Breathing: Breathe for the baby

  1. Cover the baby’s mouth and nose with your mouth.
  2. Prepare to give two rescue breaths. Use the strength of your cheeks to deliver gentle puffs of air (instead of deep breaths from your lungs) to slowly breathe into the baby’s mouth one time, taking one second for the breath. Watch to see if the baby’s chest rises. If it does, give a second rescue breath. If the chest does not rise, repeat the head-tilt, chin-lift maneuver and then give the second breath.
  3. If the baby’s chest still doesn’t rise, continue chest compressions.
  4. Give two breaths after every 30 chest compressions. If two people are conducting CPR, give two breaths after every 15 chest compressions.
  5. Perform CPR for about two minutes before calling for help unless someone else can make the call while you attend to the infant.
  6. Continue CPR until you see signs of life or until medical personnel arrive.

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