Cardiopulmonary arrest in children

In children, cardiac arrest is often caused by prior respiratory arrest. This can be exacerbated by cardiac bradycardia, which rapidly progresses to cardiac arrest (asystole) in as little as 2 to 3 minutes. Unlike adults, children are more dependent on their cardiac output to maintain adequate blood flow, which means that any form of hypoxia (lack of oxygen) can have a significant impact on brain recovery and brain development in children.

It is important to note that cardiac arrest in children can be secondary to respiratory arrest caused by a variety of conditions, such as asthma, pneumonia, viral infections and neurological disorders. In addition, situations such as drowning, poisoning and trauma can also cause cardiac arrest in children.

Responding quickly to a child's cardiac arrest is essential to increase the chance of recovery and minimize the risk of complications. Parents and caregivers should be trained in first aid to recognize the signs of cardiac arrest, provide respiratory support and use a defibrillator if necessary. Emergency care should be provided without delay to increase the chances of survival and reduce potential sequelae.


Definition and Meaning

Cardiopulmonary arrest in children occurs when the heart and lungs stop working. This can be caused by a variety of reasons, such as drowning, suffocation, electric shock, severe allergic reaction, heart failure, etc. In children, cardiac arrest is often caused by a severe impairment of respiratory function. When cardiopulmonary arrest occurs, the brain and other vital organs may be deprived of oxygen for an extended period of time, which can lead to irreversible damage and death. First aid for cardiopulmonary arrest in children includes CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and defibrillation if necessary. It is crucial to seek medical assistance immediately in the event of a cardiopulmonary arrest in children.

Respiratory arrest and cardiac arrest

There is a delay of approximately 2 to 3 minutes between respiratory arrest and cardiac arrest, leading to increasing cardiac bradycardia until cardiac arrest due to asystole (lack of electrical rhythm).

Consequences of cardiac arrest

The absence of breathing leads to a significant oxygen deficit if the arrest is prolonged, because the child is even more dependent on his cardiac output than the adult.

Cyanosis (blueing of the skin surface) is seen mainly in the child's mouth and extremities.


Brain development in children

The child's brain is in full development in the first 4 years of life.

Their brain volume increases from 50% to 85% compared to adults in the first 2 years and then to 94% by age 4.

Therefore, any hypoxia has a major impact on the quality of brain recovery and brain development.