How to Perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
is one of the most basic forms of first aid, and it’s one of the techniques
that is responsible for saving the most lives. CPR is useful in situations
where a person’s breathing may have stopped, such as heart attack, near
drowning, choking or electrical shock.
stocking your first aid kit, you might want to consider including a CPR mask. A
CPR mask not only helps you deliver oxygen more efficiently, it also protects
you from blood or vomit from the victim.
Before you begin attempting CPR, make sure that the person is unconscious
without any signs of circulation. Begin by shaking them and asking loudly “Are
you ok?” If they do not respond, tell someone to call 911. If you are alone,
begin CPR before seeking a phone to call 911, unless one is immediately
available. If the person has become unconscious because of suffocation,
administer CPR for one minute before calling 911.
Next, follow the steps that spell out CAB: circulation, airway and breating.
CPR First Aid: Circulation
1. Place the person on their back on a firm, level surface.
2. Kneel next to the person near their neck and shoulders.
3. Place one hand over the center of the person’s chest, just
between the nipples. Put the other hand on top of that hand. Straighten your
elbows and position your shoulders directly above your hands.
4. Using your upper body weight, push straight down on the
chest. You should go down about 2 inches. Repeat this at a rate of about 100
compressions a minute (for reference, try humming “Staying Alive” by the Bee
Gees in your head).
If you aren’t trained in CPR, or if you are rusty on your skills, continue
doing chest compressions until the person begins moving or until help arrives.
If you are feel confident in your CPR skills, move on to the next section after
CPR First Aid: Airway
1. Gently tilt the person’s head backwards by placing your
palm on their forehead.
2. Lift the chin forward to open the airway.
3. Check for normal breathing—wait about 5 to 10 seconds
while watching for normal breathing sounds, feeling breath on your cheek or
chest movements. Note that gasping is not considered normal breathing.
Continue on to the breathing section if you are trained in CPR.
CPR First Aid: Breathing
1. Pinch the nostrils shut and cover the person’s mouth with
yours. You should make a seal, so no air escapes from your lips.
2. Give two rescue breaths lasting one second each. If the
chest rises during the first breath, continue on with the second breath. If the
chest does not rise, check the airway again.
3. Alternate 30 chest compressions per 2 rescue breaths.
4. Administer one shock using an AED if the victim remains
unresponsive after five cycles. If you’re unsure how to use one, call 911 and
ask the operator to guide you through.
If the victim’s mouth is too damaged
to form a seal, you can also administer rescue breaths through the nose.