Is it safe to perform CPR and use an AED on a pregnant person? This is a common question for many bystanders as they might feel hesitant to intervene out of fear of harming the baby or mother.
However, without providing these life-saving measures, the mother and the baby will likely not survive. Therefore, you should act quickly. Don’t delay chest compressions or defibrillation for a pregnant person.
- Call 911.Let the call-taker know the person is pregnant.
- Start immediate CPR.If you aren’t trained, give compression-only CPR by pushing hard and fast at the center of the chest.
- Use the AED.Follow the normal steps for operating the AED. Defibrillation shock will not harm the baby and is considered safe in each stage of pregnancy.
If the person starts breathing, moving or reacting in other ways, place the person on their left side to improve blood flow.
For more information about maternal cardiac arrest, check out the HSI Emergency Care blog.