How to perform CPR

CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is an easy to learn
skill that can be used to save lives. Understanding CPR through proper
training, such as is offered by, can be invaluable, and
can allow you to extend the life of an individual who suffers from a cardiac
event, a drowning, or any situation in which breathing has stopped or blood is
not flowing properly.

CPR typically consists of two phases: chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth
resuscitation, however, it is recommended by the Heart Association that
untrained individuals use only chest compressions. Though not as effective as
the two phase technique, it is better to perform this ‘hands-only CPR’ than to
attempt a process in which one is not properly skilled.

Prior to beginning CPR, you must determine if the individual is conscious.
Shout and/or tap the individual. If there is no response, and no one else is
available to call emergency response while CPR is being performed, call 911
first, then start the steps for CPR.

Note: If an AED (automated external defibrillator) is available, and you have
been trained to use this device, the AED should be used prior to CPR.

What is the process of performing CPR?A person who has been properly trained and certified in carrying out CPR should
observe the following steps when an adult has experienced a respiratory or
circulatory emergency, remembering to follow the ABCs:

Clear the airway by placing the individual on his or her back on a firm
surface. Kneel next to the individual’s shoulders and tilt his or her head back
and lift open the chin. If it is not determined that breathing is normal, begin
mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.


While the person is lying on his or her back with the head tilted and the
airway open, pinch the nostrils closed. Completely seal the mouth with your
own. Give one breath for one second and watch for signs of the chest rising. If
the chest does not rise, attempt to clear the airway a second time and repeat
the breathing technique.


Place the heel of one hand on the middle of the individual’s chest, with the
other hand on top of the first. Push down hard, about two inches, and very
quickly, attempting two pushes, or compressions, per second. Count compressions
and stop to give rescue breaths after every 30 pushes.

There may be times when you will need to use CPR on a baby or young child, or
even on your pet. When administering CPR to babies or children, you have to be
much gentler when pressing the chest because the risk of breaking their ribs is
much higher than in an adult. This could lead to their lungs being punctured.
For animals, CPR is administered by putting pressure on the top-left of their
rib cage and forcing your breath though their nostrils.

Over the years, the CPR process has been made simpler and more basic so it is
not hard to learn. It is also easy to enroll yourself in a training class which
is mostly taught in public community centers like schools, hospitals and so on.
If you were ever in a situation where you needed CPR, you would surely be
praying that someone at home, or amongst the crowd, should you be in a public
place, could come to your rescue. That should be motivation enough for you to
go out and enroll yourself in a class.

For children over the age of one, CPR is much the same, except only one hand
should be used while performing chest compressions. In an emergency with a
child, it is acceptable to begin CPR before calling 911.




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