Successful rescue breathing for infants requires an understanding of infant airway anatomy, the use of proper techniques, and practice. Knowing why you should not fully tilt an infant’s head back when performing rescue breaths is essential for providing care.
Understanding Infant Airway Anatomy
Infants have small airways that are easily obstructed by the tongue and soft tissues in the throat. The tongue is larger in proportion to the infant’s head than in adults. The infant’s larynx is more posterior than in adults and the epiglottis is more horizontal. All of these anatomical differences can contribute to airway obstruction.
Why Not Fully Tilt an Infant’s Head Back?
Fully tilting an infant’s head back can cause the tongue to fall back and obstruct the airway. It is important to provide support to the infant’s head and neck while performing rescue breaths. The head should be slightly tilted back, no more than 30°. This will provide an open airway while allowing the tongue to stay forward.
Rescue breathing for infants is a critical skill to have. Knowing why you should not fully tilt an infant’s head back when performing rescue breaths is essential for providing proper care. Understanding infant airway anatomy and using the correct techniques are key to performing successful rescue breaths.