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Near drowning and choking

If your baby has difficulty breathing, or is choking on an ingested object, you will need to take measures in order to remove the object that is blocking the airway passage. The baby may have turned blue, have difficulty breathing, or make squeaking sounds.

1.    Hit her firmly 5 times on the back

·         Lay the infant face down on your arm, supporting her head and neck with one hand. Keep the head lower than the body.

·         Hit her 5 times steadily on the back, between the shoulders, with the base of your palm.

2.    Do 5 chest compressions.

·         Hold the infant as a “sandwich” with both your hands, and turn her on her back. Keep the head lower than the body.

·         Do 5 chest compressions, like in CPR, but at a slower pace.

3.    Look into the infant’s mouth

·         Remove any objects, if visible, with your fingers.

·         Don’t put your fingers into the infant’s mouth to look for the object, but only if you can see the object.

4.    Continue to hit on the back and the compressions on the chest until the object is removed, or until the baby is able to breathe.

5.        If the baby loses consciousness, begin CPR.

Caution: if she coughs, it means that the baby is breathing. Hit her lightly on the back, and nothing else. Remain as calm as possible, and don’t let the child see that you are anxious.

Stelios Papaventsis Paediatrician ΜRCPCH DCH IBCLC 2010

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