Steps for CPR

Overview

CPR–cardiopulmonary resuscitation–saves lives. When someone’s heart and breathing have stopped, perhaps from drowning, electrical shock or heart attack, CPR can get them started again. The two main components of CPR are rhythmic pressure on the chest and breaths of air into the lungs. The procedure must be started within minutes of cardiac arrest to prevent brain damage or death.

Steps of CPR

The American Heart Association establishes the procedure for CPR.

First, check to see if the person can respond to touch or sound and try to keep him or her awake and alert. Call 911 immediately, or send someone to do it so you can start CPR.

Place the victim on his back if he is not already there, and refrain from moving the head or neck to the side in case there has been an injury to the spine. Using two fingers, lift the chin up gently to open the airway, while simultaneously tilting the head back with your forearm placed on the victim’s forehead. Check for signs of breathing by placing your ear to his mouth to hear or feel breath, and check to see if his chest is moving.

If you detect no breathing, place your mouth firmly on his and pinch his nose closed while keeping the chin and head tilted back. Breathe deeply into his mouth twice and wait one second to see if his chest is moving.

If he has not started breathing, you will need to do chest compressions. Place the heel of your hand, which is the base of the palm, onto their breastbone located in the center of the chest around the nipples. Place the opposite hand’s heel over the one already on the breastbone and move directly over the individual. Press down hard and fast, for a series of 30 compressions. Count quickly and then remove the hands after the 30th compression.

Breathe into their mouth two more times after the compression, using the same technique as before. Continue this entire process until the paramedics have arrived to take over. If you are in a location that has an automated external defibrillator, follow directions on the case and use as soon as you see someone is unconscious and not breathing in place of CPR.