Due to children and infants going into cardiac arrest most likely to respiratory cause; one must consider the value of outside resources in the life saving effort. You should recognize that time is the enemy, especially in pediatric victims, and delay in treatment or care may result in a poor outcome. The sooner care is initiated for a child or infant – the higher the chance of survivability. Therefore there are special guidelines for when to obtain or call 911 when faced with a pediatric cardiac arrest.
If you are ALONE and FIND an infant or child in cardiac arrest: Perform the steps of CPR immediately without delay for 2 minutes or 5 sets of 30:2 before leaving the pediatric victim to get help or call 911. Due to finding the child and the unknown time involved since collapse, delaying starting CPR may result in cellular injury or death. By performing the steps of CPR for 2 minutes or 5 cycles of 30:2, we circulate blood and oxygen potentially restarting the clock on a poor outcome. This allows us to build the pediatric victim back up with oxygenation before leaving to call 911 or obtain help without fear of causing more harm (at least for a few minutes).
If you witness the pediatric victim collapse or have someone else around: Treat the victim as an adult. Get additional resources and Call 911 (or have someone else do it) immediately then return to the victim and begin CPR.
Cell Phones: If you are alone and have a cell phone it may be possible to call 911 & begin the steps of CPR at the same time regardless if you witness the arrest or not. Remember that time is the enemy.