J and I took a private at-home infant CPR class with our friends (2 other couples who are also pregnant with their first child – we’re all having boys!) on Sunday afternoon. The class lasted approximately 1.5 hours and was more helpful than I anticipated! I’m curious to know what a larger group class experience is like now, because I really enjoyed the smaller, hands-on nature of our class. Our instructor ditched the instructional video (which reminded me of the safety instruction videos on flights) and just talked us through each of the various CPR scenarios. Interestingly enough, the course covered both adult/child CPR and infant CPR, so it was definitely more comprehensive than I had anticipated.
I think the most useful tip I learned was the use of an AED (automated external defibrillator) kit, which is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the CPR patient and is able to treat them through defibrillation to help the heart reestablish an effective rhythm. According to our instructor, manual CPR alone is less than 10 percent effective in saving the patient – with an AED, the success rate is over 90 percent! All public spaces hosting more than 100 people (e.g. restaurants, fast food chains, apartment complexes, shopping centers, etc) are required to keep an AED kit on site (which reminds me, I should check with our doorman to see if our building has one).
Another useful tip I learned was that the best way to check for infant consciousness is by ticking the bottom of his foot. Aww.
All in all, I would highly recommend a CPR course to everyone – whether you’re expecting a child or not. You never know when you may have to use it to save a loved one’s life!