Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) in children is similar to that of an adult. However, most people are under the impression that when doing chest compressions, both hands are to be used, although one technique does not override the other. Therefore, when doing CPR on a child, the rescuer has an option to use ether one hand or both hands.
Let us look at the way CPR is done on an adult. First, adults come in various sizes and shapes. But the heart is always in the same place. The hands are placed on the center of the chest between the nipples, and compression begins. However, when you have a very small male or female, the technique remains the same but may have to be altered. Moreover, it is known that all adults must have both hands pushing on the chest.
If the adult presents as a very small person, two hands may be detrimental and a bit too much. Thus, one hand compressions may be an option. One question asked of me pertained to a rescuer with just one arm or one hand. What would be the best option to use?
In this situation, the best thing to do is one hand chest compressions. It is obvious that the person with one arm or one hand is incapable of doing two handed chest compressions. The only option is to use one hand. If a rescuer believes that using one hand is useless, he or she should think about that again since doing nothing at all is the worst verdict.
Children are small and have a smaller chest than an adult. So, if a child goes into cardiac arrest and CPR is needed, one or two hands can be performed. The reason for this one or two-handed technique also relies on the size of the rescuer’s hands. There are some rescuers with extremely large hands, such as Shaquille O’Neal. Shaquille O’Neal’s hands are so large that he can get away with doing one hand chest compressions on an adult. However, for Shaquille to do chest compressions on a child or even a small adult, the outcome may be a bit different. Therefore, it depends on the size of a rescuer’s hands on whether he or she is comfortable doing chest compressions.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that child chest compressions be by the one hand method. However, they did not disregard the size of the rescuer and left it up to the comfort of the person who is actually doing the work. In addition, doing chest compressions for an extended period of time is taxing on the body and causes fatigue in the most athletic of individuals. Just think of what it can cause when an unhealthy or out-of-shape person does it. Also, let us not forget that a child is recognized as a person under the age of eight or with breast development in females or chest or underarm hair in males.
Nonetheless, chest compressions are vital for the survival of a person suffering a cardiac arrest. The proper way is defined by the AHA as a technique that has proven time after time to work. Holding back because one is in-decisive of whether to use two hands or one is an argument not worthy of the fight. Therefore, moving forward with one or two hands is the best choice, regardless of the size of the victim. Even more, the strength and agility of the individual doing the proper technique will determine if the outcome is positive or negative.
In many cases, degerming the positive or negative outcome is a direct result of the actual victim suffering from cardiac arrest. If the victim is large and out of shape, the chances of their arteries being clogged are pretty good. On the other hand, people who are in-shape also suffer from cardiac arrest, so one should not be judgmental as to who and when a person will suffer a cardiac arrest. The fact remains that anyone is vulnerable to this sudden strike of a heart attack and everyone should be prepared for it. Whether you are on a cruise ship, camping in the forest, on a hike, having a picnic, or enjoying the preacher preach at church, your time may come.
Should the opportunity arise when you are needed to save a person’s life and, you are unsure as to do one-handed or two-handed chest compressions, just remember, doing noting is worst to pressing comfortably with one or both hands. Fast and regular is what is required to get that heart back into motion.