(8) Perform chest compressions. Remember that chest compressions are
always accompanied by rescue breathing. Be sure to coordinate the chest
compressions and rescue breathing.
For complete information about pediatric CPR, refer to the American Heart
Association and Military Training Network.
c. Control bleeding. Use pressure to control bleeding rather than a tourniquet.
d. Treat for shock. Shock is a condition of low blood pressure which prevents
the body tissues from receiving enough oxygen. Treat by keeping the child flat.
Provide comfort and reassure the child.
e. Immobilize any neurological or musculoskeletal injuries. DO NOT try to
straighten out any obvious deformity; for example, an arm at a strange angle. Follow
the principle, "Splint them where they lie." Items which can be used to splint a body part
include a rolled-up newspaper, a blanket, or a pillow.
Children respond differently in trauma. A child's blood vessels are capable of
extreme vasoconstriction. For that reason, hypotension may not occur until a
child has lost a major portion of his entire blood volume.
3-20. VITAL SIGNS
There are a number of important differences between the vital signs of a child
and those of an adult. Note the following.
a. General Information.
(1) A child's vital signs must be checked and recorded more frequently than
the vital signs of an adult.
(2) Your subjective impression of the child may be more important than any
one of the child's vital signs.
(3) Children have incredible compensatory mechanisms that conceal
physiological insult for some time. For example, a child may have a fever (a
temperature above normal) and still behave as though he feels fine. So, a child may
have an infection and display no signs or symptoms of illness. Sometimes only after the
child's coping mechanisms have been exhausted will you see changes in the child's vital
(4) Once a child's vital signs begin to change for the worse, the changes
occur rapidly and the child's condition deteriorates.