Delivering Effective Mouth to Mouth Breaths -

Delivering Effective Mouth to Mouth Breaths

Delivering effective breaths is very important, especially when trying to revive a child or infant. Breaths become extremely important to keeping the child or infant’s circulatory system and brain in the best possible state.

  • Since the new 2015 guidelines have been put in place, due to the possible spread of disease, the rescuer is cautioned not to deliver mouth to mouth breaths to a stranger. If you don’t have a mask, you are encouraged to perform compression only CPR at a rate of 100 to 120 per minute in conjunction with using an AED if available. However, if the victim is a significant other or immediate family member (Dad, Mom, Brother, Sister, Son, Daughter, Granddad or Grandma) then you are encouraged to supplement your compressions with effective breaths.
  • To deliver effective mouth to mouth breaths to an adult or child begin by placing the heel of your non-preferred hand (left for a righty) on the victim’s forehead and tilt the head back until you can look down the nostrils of an adult or just the beginning of the nares on a child.
  • Next put the thumb of the preferred hand (right for righties) over the bottom of the jaw with the remaining fingers under the chin and pinch while lifting the chin up and back to help clear the tongue away from the airway.
  • Pinch the nostrils with the thumb and forefinger of the hand on the forehead. Then gently but firmly seal your lips over the lips of the victim and blow air in softly over one second to make the chest rise. As soon as you see chest rise, stop blowing.
  • Repeat the breath steps again. You should deliver two slow effective breaths in 5 seconds.
  • If only one person is performing CPR, as soon as the breaths are delivered resume chest compressions at a rate of 30 compressions to 2 breaths whether it is an adult, child or infant. For an adult the depth of compressions is at least 2 inches, for a child it is about 2 inches and for an infant it is approximately 1 and 1/2 inches.
  • When delivering breaths to Children and Infants remember they have smaller respiratory structures therefore it does not require a large volume of air to cause their chests to rise.
  • For an infant you would tilt the head back very gently and place your mouth over the infant’s nose and mouth. It is very important to remember not to blow too forcefully especially with Children and Infants. Their lung tissue is very fragile.
  • When starting to deliver breaths to an infant, it is very important to remember not to tilt the baby’s head back too far. Pressing the infant’s head back too far will cause the airway to become constricted.
  • Babies are very unique and fragile, especially their airways. If you press the forehead back too far you will twist their upper airway thereby stopping the breaths from being delivered effectively. Keep in mind that delivering effective breaths is essential to increasing the chance of survival in infants. Start with the head in the neutral position and stop tilting as soon as you see chest rise. Place the thumb and forefinger of the non-preferred (left for righty’s) hand around the top of the infant’s forehead with the thumb by one ear and the forefinger by the other. Do not press your hand on top of the infant’s skull.

REMEMBER: Do not tilt an infant’s head past the point of chest rise or you will cause a complete blockage of the infant’s airway


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