CPR a valuable skill, says Waterloo family after son saved - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

CPR a valuable skill, says Waterloo family after infant son saved

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Scott and Stephanie Brunson say their two-month-old son Carter choked on his formula at the home show in Waterloo on Sunday. Good Samaritans came to the rescue, helping save the child.

As a result of that, the family now plans to take infant CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation. 

"So thankful I was where I was at when it happened," Scott Brunson said. "If it had happened at home, I wouldn't have known what to do. Just this morning, I've already registered to take infant CPR class."

Merriam Lake teaches CPR at Covenant Wellness Center in Waterloo. She says if you notice a child choking, there are a few steps to do immediately.

"The first thing you want to do is bring them head down, and you want to take the palm of your hand and do five back blows in between the shoulder blades hard and fast," Lake said. "Flip them over, keep their head down, and do five chest thrusts."

In most cases, that will do the trick, and the child will be fine, she said. In toddlers, the Heimlich maneuver can also be used.

If whatever's causing the choking doesn't come loose, the child may pass out.

"Then we need to think CPR," Lake said.

You may have heard of "hands only" CPR for adults. But in infants, giving breaths is also extremely important.

"Adults usually need CPR due to a cardiac reason: they're having a heart attack, the heart has stopped for some reason," said Dr. Angela Townsend, Covenant Clinic pediatrician. "Children have healthy hearts. Their hearts don't stop in most cases. So, usually, they need CPR because of an airway issue, not because of a heart issue.

"So you can't leave out the breaths in a child, because that's really what's going to bring them around," Townsend added.

For children, that's 30 compressions and two breaths. But you can't learn the art of CPR in just a few seconds. Taking a class to become CPR-certified will give you all the know-how you'll need.

"It's important for people to know CPR because you never know when you might need to do it on a family member, on a co-worker, just someone that you come across out in the general public," Lake said. "And AED's are becoming a lot more popular. They're in a lot more places, and it's important you know how to use it carefully because you could save someone's life."

Pediatric and adult combination CPR classes are open to the public every fourth Tuesday at Covenant Wellness Center in Waterloo. You can sign up by calling (319) 272-2358.

The American Red Cross also offers pediatric and adult CPR, and you can learn more by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Click here to find videos, illustrated guides, and even mobile applications on CPR.

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