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Maybe the idea is to hyperventilate a bit to maximize the amount of oxygen in your lungs by dispelling as much of the carbon-dioxide as possible?
Other sources* say 2 breaths for infants (< 1year ), not 5.The relative sizes of brain and lungs may be the reason for the suggested additional CPR breaths in the very young. [* http://depts.washington.edu/learncpr/infantcpr.htmlhttp://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000011.htm ]
This is what I remember of an explanation I read once on a pre-hospital care blog (I forget which, there are several, mostly fascinating). I'm not a doctor, etc.I believe it's at least partly to do with the different likely mechanisms for having-gone-blue which are likely to affect different age groups (so it's at least in part a statistical probabilities thing):Adults who've fallen down and stopped breathing have most likely stopped breathing because they had a heart attack, so there is quite likely some residual oxygen in the blood and the first priority is to get that moving round and then to start getting more oxygen in. Kids on the other hand, especially very small kids, rarely have heart attacks. On the other hand they not infrequently just stop breathing for no obvious reason, and if their heart stops afterwards that's because it's run out of oxygen itself. So pushing some more oxygen into them is the priority - there's no point in pumping round blood which is almost sure to be fully de-oxygenated, and occasionally it turns out their heart hasn't stopped and they splutter back to life on just a couple of breaths because their bodies remember what to do (thereby saving on the frankly rather brutal process of chest compressions, which tends to damage ribs..).
Quote from: RD on 16/07/2010 02:25:01Other sources* say 2 breaths for infants (< 1year ), not 5.The relative sizes of brain and lungs may be the reason for the suggested additional CPR breaths in the very young. [* http://depts.washington.edu/learncpr/infantcpr.htmlhttp://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000011.htm ]Thanks RD and thanks for the links....here's a UK one http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/accidents-and-first-aid/pages/cpr.aspx which clearly indicates 5 rescue breaths too....clearly there is non concurrence .....my guide to First aid also indicates 5 breaths...