Vomit during CPR: Paediatric first aid

Handling vomit during CPR: Essential paediatric first aid practices

When it comes to paediatric emergencies, being prepared for every possible scenario is crucial. A common yet often overlooked challenge during CPR on children is managing vomit. In this blog, Rose delves into the critical aspects of dealing with vomiting during CPR, providing essential knowledge for caregivers, educators, and healthcare professionals.

The importance of preparedness in paediatric first aid

Vomiting during CPR, particularly in paediatric cases, poses significant challenges. It increases the risk of aspiration, which can lead to severe complications such as pneumonia. Understanding how to handle these situations effectively is vital to improving paediatric emergencies' survival rates and outcomes.

Key definitions

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) - A lifesaving technique used in emergencies where someone's breathing or heartbeat has stopped.
  • Paediatric CPR - Tailored CPR techniques for infants and children, accommodating their physiological differences.
  • Aspiration - Inhalation of foreign material into the airways can occur during vomiting.

Relevant legislation, regulations, and best practices

In the UK, paediatric first aid practices are governed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) standards. Organisations involved in childcare must ensure that staff are adequately trained in paediatric first aid per the guidelines from the Resuscitation Council (UK) and Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework.

Best practices for managing vomit during paediatric CPR include

  • Immediate response - Quickly turning the child's head to the side helps drain the vomit and reduces the risk of aspiration.
  • Continuation of CPR - After managing the immediate risk of aspiration, it is crucial to continue CPR efforts without significant delays.
  • Use of barriers - Use face shields to protect the rescuer and reduce the risk of disease transmission.

Statistical significance

Statistics from health authorities highlight the critical nature of paediatric first aid training. According to the British Red Cross, timely and effective CPR can double, if not triple, the chances of survival after cardiac arrest.

Detailed recommendations

  • Regular training - Ensure that all personnel involved in childcare undergo regular certified paediatric first aid training.
  • Simulation-based learning - Incorporate scenarios like vomiting during CPR in training sessions to prepare staff for real-life emergencies better.
  • Policy updates - Regularly review and update health and safety policies to incorporate the latest best practices and compliance requirements.


Dealing with vomit during paediatric CPR is an aspect of first aid that requires both knowledge and composure. By adhering to the established guidelines and ensuring regular training, caregivers can significantly improve their readiness and effectiveness in critical situations.

Click here to explore our courses and ensure your team is prepared to handle any emergency confidently and competently.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always seek professional medical assistance in emergency situations.

About the author

Rose Mabiza

Rose has dedicated over 15 years to improving health and social care quality through practice, targeted education and training. Her extensive experience includes working with older adults, individuals with mental health conditions, and people with autism and learning disabilities.

Handling vomit during CPR: Essential paediatric first aid practices - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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