One & Two Rescuer BLS for Infants (0 to 12 months old)

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BLS Infant CPR - Pulse
BLS Infant CPR - Fingers placement
BLS Infant CPR - Compressions

Figure 11

Between children and infants, BLS procedures are nearly the same. Where there are two rescuers available, the 15:2 breath to compression ratio is also advisable for infants, as with children, whereas the ratio 30:2 is advisable for all age groups in the event that only one person is available for rescue. Below are the primary differences of BLS for infants and children:

  • The infant’s pulse can be found using the brachial artery on the inside of the infant’s upper arm, located between the elbow and shoulder (Figure 11a).
  • Instead of an entire hand, compressions can be done with just two fingers for infants if there is only one person (Figure 11b),or with two thumb-encircling hands if a second person is present and the rescuer’s hands can fit the infant’s chest (Figure 11c).
  • The prescribed compression depth should be one third of the infant’s chest depth, which is about 1.5 inches in most cases.
  • As a sole rescuer with an unresponsive infant, execute CPR for two minutes before calling 911 or using an AED.
  • Know that heart attacks are not common for infants and are usually started by respiratory problems. Quick action prevents the problem from turning into something bigger, as prevention is the primary step in the Pediatric Chain of Survival.
  • When an infant experiences cardiac arrest, phone 911 or secure an AED the same way you would with children and adults.

One-Rescuer BLS for Infants

BLS Infant CPR -
BLS Infant CPR -
BLS Infant CPR -

Figure 11

As the sole rescuer at the scene of an emergency, make sure to take the following actions:

  1. Engage with the infant by talking loudly or tapping their shoulder to assess the patient’s responsiveness
  2. Study the patient’s breathing pattern (Figure 11d)
  3. Call for help once you realize that the infant is not responsive or is not breathing properly. In the event that someone arrives to help you, ask that person to call 911 for help or to secure an AED. (The AHA points to the universality of the speakerphone function in mobile phones, allowing rescuers to stay within the emergency site.)
  4. For no more than 10 seconds, locate the infant’s brachial pulse (Figure 11e)
  5. If you fail to feel a pulse, start with 30 compressions and then two breaths. If the pulse rate is less than 60 beats per minute, start with CPR. In performing CPR on an infant, follow these steps:
    • a. Place the infant on a hard surface, face-up.
    • b. Compress the infant’s chest using two fingers but make sure not to press the end of the infant’s sternum, as this may lead to serious injuries.
    • c. Keep your compressions at 100-120 per minute, with a depth of at least 1.5 inches.
  6. For about two minutes, execute CPR operations of about 30 compressions and two breaths for five cycles. If help has yet to arrive, call 911 and secure an AED. (The AHA points to the universality of speakerphone function in mobile phones, allowing rescuers to simultaneously attend to the infant while calling for help.)
  7. Follow the instruction on the AED while executing CPR until EMS arrives or until the child recuperates into a more stable condition.

Two-Rescuer BLS for Infants

BLS Infant CPR -

Figure 11

If you are with a second rescuer with the infant at the scene, do the following:

  1. Engage with the infant by talking loudly or tapping their shoulder to assess the patient’s responsiveness.
  2. Study the patient’s breathing pattern.
  3. Call for help once you realize that the infant is not responsive or is not breathing properly. Ask the second person to call 911 for help or to secure an AED. (The AHA points to the universality of the speakerphone function in mobile phones, allowing rescuers to stay within the emergency site.)
  4. For no more than 10 seconds, locate the infant’s brachial pulse
  5.  If you fail to feel a pulse, start with 30 compressions and then two breaths. If the pulse rate is less than 60 beats per minute, start with CPR. In performing CPR on an infant, follow these steps:
    • a. Place the infant on a hard surface, face-up.
    • b. Compress the infant’s chest using two fingers but make sure not to press the end of the infant’s sternum as this may lead to serious injuries.
    • c.  Keep your compressions at 100-120 per minute, with a depth of at least 1.5 inches.
  6. Together with the second rescuer, perform 15 compressions with one person and two breaths with the second person. If one of you is able to fit your hands around the infant’s chest, execute CPR using the two thumb-encircling hands method. (Figure 11g) Refrain from pressing the end of the infant’s sternum, as this will inevitably lead to serious injuries.
  7. A rate of 100 compressions per minute is standard when dealing with infants, at about 1.5 inches deep.
  8. Follow the instructions on the AED and continue with CPR until EMS arrives or until the infant recuperates into a more stable condition.

Online Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification Course

  • BLS for Infants (0 to 12 months)

  • One & Two Rescuer BLS for Infants (0 to 12 months old)
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