CPR is the process of applying chest compressions and artificial respiration to a patient in cardiac arrest or respiratory arrest to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and to breathe in the victim. It stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The term “cardio” refers to the heart and “pulmonary” refers to the lungs. When a person’s heart stops beating effectively due to cardiac arrest, their brain is denied oxygen-rich blood, which leads to their death.

Anyone who wishes to administer CPR must know how to do so correctly. There are a few differences between CPR for children versus CPR for adults.

CPR Difference in Kids and Adults

CPR is used on both children and adults. It is important to consider the difference between the two when administering this lifesaving technique. This process needs to be done by a medical professional and should never be done without proper training. The rescue provider has to be Certified. If your certificate expires, you can get one from BLS certification renewal online. CPR certification renewal Training and techniques must reflect the guidelines set by the American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

CPR for children is slightly different from CPR for adults or even CPR for infants. One of the main differences between children and adults is age, as the average age of a child with cardiac arrest is about eight years old, so there are slight modifications to how CPR works on them as opposed to an adult patient. For example, breathing into a child’s mouth can cause more harm rather than good because their mouths are not big enough compared to an adult’s mouth to perform this action effectively.

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To explain these differences clearly, the following steps will provide you with that knowledge:

For Kids

  • Step 1: The first step of CPR for children is to place one hand on top of the other and put them in the center of the child’s chest.
  • Step 2: Press down about two inches (2) into their chest at a rate of 100 times per minute (100/minute). The hands should be pressed straight down onto their chest.
  • Step 3: Use your body weight instead of just your arms when performing CPR on kids, which means you can lean over them as you compress their chests rather than having to stay standing up.

For Adults

  • Step 1: For adults, place the heel of one hand slightly above the nipple line, so it covers about half an inch around it. Then, place the other hand on top of the first.
  • Step 2: Press down hard and fast at least two inches (2) into their chest at a rate of 100 times per minute (100/minute). When performing CPR on adults, you should push straight down onto their chest, using your body weight instead of just your arms by leaning over them as you compress their chests.
  • Step 3: Use one hand for adults under 60 years old and two hands for those over 60 years old. Place the heel of your dominant hand over the center of the sternum with fingers pointing toward one another. Make sure that there is about half an inch of space between your hands to cover the middle portion of their sternum. The other hand goes on top of the first hand, forming an ‘X’ with your fingers.
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Step 4: Squeeze at least two inches (2) down on their chest using your body weight instead of just your arms by leaning over them while you compress their chests. When performing CPR on adults over 60 years old, use both hands to do compression; one hand goes in the center of the sternum and is used as a pivot point when compressing diagonally into their chest. The other hand goes underneath that wrist to bring it up farther onto the breastbone. This brings more weight onto the chest when compressing adults over 60 years old.

Though it might seem easier to administer CPR for children than for adults, rescuers should note that CPR should be given to children and adults regardless of individual differences. Additionally, the single most important thing you can do for someone who may be dying is to call 911 immediately so help can arrive as soon as possible. As any person who has ever performed CPR knows, it can be very difficult at first because it feels like something heavy is sitting on your chest; however, that sensation wears off after a few compressions. The key is to keep going until paramedics arrive or the patient wakes up (whichever comes first).

For children, rescuers should use two fingers (instead of their whole hand) when performing compressions; however, for adults, rescuers should use the heel of their dominant hand placed above the nipple-line and then place another hand over it so that their fingertips overlap. When performed correctly, compressions for both children and adults should be at a rate of 100 compressions per minute (100/minute) and two inches deep.

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