How to perform a CPR on adults and child over 1 year

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving technique useful in many emergencies, including a heart attack or near drowning, in which someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped.

If you’re untrained and fearful that your knowledge or abilities aren’t 100 percent complete, remember, it’s far better to do something than to do nothing at all. The difference could be someone’s life.

Here’s advice from the American Heart Association:

Untrained

If you’re not trained in CPR, then provide hands-only CPR. You don’t need to try rescue breathing.

Before you begin

Before starting CPR, check:

  • Is the environment safe for the person?
  • Is the person conscious or unconscious?
  • If the person appears unconscious, tap or shake his or her shoulder and ask loudly, “Are you OK?”
  • If the person doesn’t respond and two people are available, have one person call 911 or the local emergency number and get the AED, if one is available, and have the other person begin CPR.
  • If you are alone and have immediate access to a telephone, call 911 or your local emergency number before beginning CPR. Get the AED, if one is available.
  • As soon as an AED is available, deliver one shock if instructed by the device, then begin CPR.

Compressions: Restore blood circulation

Chest compressions

  1. Put the person on his or her back on a firm surface.
  2. Kneel next to the person’s neck and shoulders.
  3. Place the heel of one hand over the center of the person’s chest, between the nipples. Place your other hand on top of the first hand. Keep your elbows straight and position your shoulders directly above your hands.
  4. Use your upper body weight (not just your arms) as you push straight down on (compress) the chest at least 2 inches (approximately 5 centimeters) but not greater than 2.4 inches (approximately 6 centimeters). Push hard at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions a minute.
  5. If you haven’t been trained in CPR, continue chest compressions until there are signs of movement or until emergency medical personnel take over. If you have been trained in CPR, go on to opening the airway and rescue breathing.

 

Trained and ready to go

If you’re well-trained and confident in your ability, check to see if there is a pulse and breathing. If there is no breathing or a pulse within 10 seconds, begin chest compressions. Start CPR with 30 chest compressions before giving two rescue breaths.

Remember to spell C-A-B

Chest compressions

Chest compressions

 

Airway being opened

Open the airway

 

Rescue breathing

Rescue breathing

 

To perform CPR on a child

The procedure for giving CPR to a child age 1 through puberty is essentially the same as that for an adult. The American Heart Association also recommends the following to perform CPR on a child:

Compressions: Restore blood circulation

If you are alone and didn’t see the child collapse, perform five cycles of compressions and breaths on the child — this should take about two minutes — before calling 911 or your local emergency number and getting the AED, if one is available.

If you’re alone and you did see the child collapse, call 911 or your local emergency number and get the AED, if one is available, before beginning CPR. If another person is available, have that person call for help and get the AED while you begin CPR.

  1. Put the child on his or her back on a firm surface.
  2. Kneel next to the child’s neck and shoulders.
  3. Use two hands, or only one hand if the child is very small, to perform chest compressions. Press straight down on (compress) the chest about 2 inches (approximately 5 centimeters). If the child is an adolescent, push straight down on the chest at least 2 inches (approximately 5 centimeters) but not greater than 2.4 inches (approximately 6 centimeters). Push hard at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions a minute.
  4. If you haven’t been trained in CPR, continue chest compressions until there are signs of movement or until emergency medical personnel take over. If you have been trained in CPR, go on to opening the airway and rescue breathing.

Airway: Open the airway

  • If you’re trained in CPR and you’ve performed 30 chest compressions, open the child’s airway using the head-tilt, chin-lift maneuver. Put your palm on the child’s forehead and gently tilt the head back. Then with the other hand, gently lift the chin forward to open the airway.

Breathing: Breathe for the child

Use the same compression-breath rate that is used for adults: 30 compressions followed by two breaths. This is one cycle.

  1. With the airway open (using the head-tilt, chin-lift maneuver), pinch the nostrils shut for mouth-to-mouth breathing and cover the child’s mouth with yours, making a seal.
  2. Prepare to give two rescue breaths. Give the first rescue breath — lasting one second — and watch to see if the chest rises. If it does rise, give the second breath. If the chest doesn’t rise, repeat the head-tilt, chin-lift maneuver and then give the second breath. Be careful not to provide too many breaths or to breathe with too much force.
  3. After the two breaths, immediately begin the next cycle of compressions and breaths. If there are two people performing CPR, conduct 15 compressions followed by two breaths.
  4. As soon as an AED is available, apply it and follow the prompts. Use pediatric pads if available, for children up to age 8. If pediatric pads aren’t available, use adult pads. Administer one shock, then resume CPR — starting with chest compressions — for two more minutes before administering a second shock. If you’re not trained to use an AED, a 911 or other emergency medical operator may be able to guide you in its use.

Continue until the child moves or help arrives.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.