More and more I’m seeing Massage Therapists offering infant massage as well as massage classes for parents to teach them how to connect with baby and give that extra bit of care to their new infant.
But what happens when there is a medical emergency with an infant in your clinic?
Do you know what to do when one of those infants starts choking?
To start, play the first video below and I’ll get into some instructions on how to handle this kind of emergency in your clinic.
It’s a valuable skill to have and is important in and out of your clinic. But keep in mind, the videos are not a substitute for taking a proper course.
So remember, if the baby is coughing that means they have an open airway it is just somewhat restricted.
We don’t do anything except encourage them to cough up whatever it is they are choking on.
You need to intervene if:
- The baby is making high pitched noises.
- Is too weak to cough.
- Is wheezing.
- Becomes rigid due to a completely restricted airway.
Have someone call 911, get an AED (if available) and start your back blows and compressions.
Make sure the baby is always supported on your thigh, so there is a solid surface to deliver your back blows and compressions against. With the baby sandwiched between your forearms deliver five back blows between the shoulder blades.
Then flip baby over and rest on your other thigh, deliver five chest compressions with two fingers land marking between the nipples. You want to deliver about a 1.5 inch compression.
Continue to do this until the object is cleared and baby starts to cry, or becomes unconscious.
If the back blows and compressions didn’t clear the airway, now you’re doing CPR.
However once the baby went unconscious there is a chance the airway opened up because of the musculature in the neck relaxing, so we “look listen and feel” for 15 seconds to see if baby has started to breathe at all.
If they’re still not breathing, we slightly tilt the head back to try and open the airway and attempt to give two breaths. If there is still a blockage and we see that no air went in with the breaths, (if air does go in and baby is still unconscious and not breathing, we still continue) we landmark between the nipples and deliver 30 chest compressions using two fingers.
We continue with 30 compressions and two breaths until the baby starts breathing on its own, or more help arrives to take over CPR.
When First Responders arrive, they will take over CPR but have some equipment and different techniques they will use to help the baby.
Hopefully if you are doing infant massage, or just know someone who has a baby, these videos will help you feel a little more confident should you ever have to deal with a choking emergency. Please remember that these videos and this blog should not be used as a replacement for taking an actual CPR course. If this is something you do a lot in your practice, please take the time to go and get the necessary training to be confident in dealing with infant emergencies, it could literally mean someones life one day. If you know someone or have a colleague that could benefit from the information here please share it with them.