• Printer Friendly Version

CPR Training for New Parents & Caregivers

Preparation for At-Home Emergencies Before They Leave the Hospital

CalvertHealth First-in-Maryland to offer Infant CPR Anytime® Training

Ten seconds. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), if CPR begins within 10 seconds of witnessing someone, of any age, becoming unresponsive due to a cardiac event, they have the best chance of reviving them. Every second that the heart is not pumping oxygen-rich blood, brain cells begin to die.

For parents and caregivers of infants and young children, having the knowledge to recognize and act in an emergency is crucial. The sooner emergency care is provided, on site, the better the outcome will be for a child.

Recognizing that educating parents on infant emergency response is crucial, the team at CalvertHealth partnered with the American Heart Association to initiate the Infant CPR Anytime® Training program to educate parents on lifesaving techniques before they leave the hospital with their baby.

CalvertHealth Medical Center and the Center for Family Birth Care is the first hospital to formally initiate the program in Maryland. The program combines in-hospital, in-room training by video, followed by mom doing a return demonstration with a nurse. A take-home training kit with a practice manikin allows parents to continue infant CPR training with family members, siblings, babysitters and other caregivers who will have contact with their baby.

Although CHMC provides infant CPR through its Community Wellness Department, there was a gap in the number of babies being born at the hospital and the number of people taking the courses. “We know that the days and weeks after a child’s birth are hectic and exhausting for new parents. That’s why we designed this program – to provide infant CPR training before moms are discharged from the hospital,” said CHMC CPR Coordinator Wendy Cox, who is also an American Heart Association coordinator of CPR training. Cox continued, “Our goal is to train 100 percent of parents on what to do if a child is choking, nonresponsive or not breathing – before they leave the hospital.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are about 3,600 infants who die in the U.S. every year due to unsafe sleeping environments. Unintentional suffocation is a leading cause of all injury deaths for infants under the age of one according to AHA. Every year, Maryland has an average of 55 sleep-related deaths—that’s more than one infant dying every week from a largely preventable cause, according to the Maryland Patient Safety Center.

“One death is one death too many,” said CHMC Center for Family Birth Care Director Donna Arnstein, who along with members of her staff initiated the push to establish the Infant CPR Anytime® Training at CalvertHealth.“Currently, our nurses work with moms after delivery teaching them all aspects of newborn care —this program will reinforce and add to the knowledge base of new parents,” said Arnstein. The take-home kits, co-branded with the American Academy of Pediatrics, include everything parents and other caregivers need to learn the lifesaving skills of infant CPR and infant choking relief in about 20 minutes, including a baby CPR personal manikin, a bilingual DVD and a skills reminder card. CHMC covers the entire cost of the kits.

As a healthcare professional with more than 10 years of CPR training, Cox knows that the more practice in CPR training a person goes through, the more confident and calm they will be in an emergency.

RISK FACTORS in Infant Deaths

  • In at least 72 percent of cases, there were soft objects in the infant’s sleep area
  • In 54 percent of deaths, the infant was sleeping with an adult or another child (bedsharing)
  • In 45 percent of cases, the infant was sleeping in an adult bed
  • Thirty-seven percent of infants were found on their abdomen or side

back to top button