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stjohnlogoSt John Ambulance, the nation’s leading first aid charity, has teamed up with the Island Echo to bring you some simple, but life saving, first aid tips – this week: learn how to perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on an infant under the age of one year.

On discovering a collapsed infant, check for response by gently tapping or flicking the sole of his foot and call his name loudly. Never shake an infant. To open the infant’s airway place one hand on his forehead and very gently tilt the head back. Place one fingertip of your other hand on the point of the chin and gently lift. Do not push on the soft tissue under the chin as this may block the airway. To check whether the infant is breathing, look for chest movement, listen for sounds of breathing and feel for breath on your cheek. Do this for no more than ten seconds and if the infant is not breathing, begin CPR.

• Place the infant on his back on a flat surface and make sure the airway is still open by keeping one hand on his forehead and one fingertip of the other hand on his chin

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• Pick out any visible obstructions from the mouth and nose but do not sweep the mouth with your finger to look for obstructions

• Take a breath and place your lips around the infant’s mouth and nose to form an airtight seal. Blow steadily into the mouth and nose for one second; the chest should rise

• Maintaining head tilt and chin lift, take your mouth off the infant’s mouth and nose and see if his chest falls. If the chest rises visibly as you blow and falls when you lift your mouth, you have given a rescue breath. Give five initial rescue breaths

• Place two fingertips on the centre of the infant’s chest. Press down vertically on the breastbone and depress the chest by one third of its depth. Release the pressure without losing contact between your fingertips and the breastbone. Allow the chest to come back up fully before you give the next compression. The time taken for compression and release should be about the same

• Give 30 compressions at a rate of between 100-120 per minute

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• Return to the infant’s head, open the airway and give two further rescue breaths.

• If you are alone, continue giving 30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths for one minute, then stop to call 999/112 for emergency help. If help is one the way, continue CPR until emergency help takes over; the infant starts to breathe normally or you become too exhausted to continue.

For those looking for quick, easily accessible first aid information, the St John Ambulance app is available free on smartphones and the website (www.sja.org.uk) offers demo videos, an interactive game, and lots of free advice. For more information about first aid courses, and volunteering opportunities in Ryde and Newport, please call 0303 003 0101.

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