What you need to know about choking, infant CPR and adult CPR

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is something we hope that we never ever have to use for your child or even an adult, but it is important to remain calm and be able to execute the steps in the event of an emergency. It takes 4- 6 minutes for brain damage to start to occur, so time is of the essence.

In August 2020, my father suffered from an out of hospital collapse - he stopped breathing while sleeping. Fortunately, my mother detected that he had breathing difficulties and managed to perform CPR (albeit not perfectly) on him immediately. My brother (CPR trained) arrived shortly and continued CPR until the SCDF came. This made the difference and with a lot of luck, he survived. This incident prompted me to take up a course in CPR but I was in my second trimester of my pregnancy so I only managed to do it this year. 

When I first started baby led weaning for my baby girl when she turned 6 months old, there were instances where she choked and I was not sure what to do. Did you know that babies don't get cardiac arrest? Instead, the main reason for respiratory arrest is choking; the heart stops because they can't breathe. As a parent, I hope this can help empower parents with the knowledge and confidence to be able to handle such situations.  

Here are snippets from my half day course with Singapore Red Cross Academy’s Training Instructor, Ms Selvi. We covered infant, child and adult CPR and did a live session here. We define infants in this context to be 0 to 1 year old. Child CPR and adult CPR is very much the same.

Here are the steps for CPR (DRSABC)

  1. Assess for Danger in the surrounding environment
  2. Check for Response: tap on shoulder, tap on toes and tickle soles of baby
  3. Shout for help to call 995 SCDF Singapore Civil Defence Force. Ask for AED for child/adult
  4. Get AED kit from nearest point for adults to shock them
  5. Check for Breathing: tilt baby's head up gently and look for the rise and fall of chest for not more than 10 seconds.
  6. Perform quality CPR: place the child or baby on their back on a firm, flat surface and perform continuous chest compression x 30 times at 100-120 count in 1 minute and 2 blows (optional). 30 mls of air for baby (small puff of air) and 400 mls for child and adult. Exert pressure of 3-4cm for infants, 4-5cm for child and 4-6cm for adult. 


What to do if baby is choking? Watch this video or read this blog post


Watch this video for infant CPR or take up a course. 


How to do adult CPR?

Vetted and approved by: Singapore Red Cross Academy


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