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CPR for Drowning Victims-Performing CPR

Updated on June 6, 2011

A CPR instructions guide to renew confidence about helping in a drowning event.

We have all heard the horror stories. Mom walks away for a second to answer the ringing phone and she comes back to her lifeless child's body in the bathtub. Children are drowning from playing in the pool, the creek, the pond or the canals. After 5 minutes of submersion and 10 minutes of unsuccessful resuscitation attempts, it is likely the child will die or be brain damaged. Here is how you can give your child an increased chance of complete recovery if they should ever be drowning. Learn CPR.

(This information is from a lifeguarding certification course I took years ago. Please notify me if adjustments need to be made to make this hub current, thank you.)

Child Rescue:Learn CPR (BritRedCross)

CPR Steps Procedure

STEP 1: Pull the victim out of the water. If the water is turbulent and you are not trained in water rescue, cannot swim, or otherwise feel you will put yourself in danger, call for help.

STEP 2: Rescue breaths in 5 second intervals. While you are pulling the victim to land, provide a rescue breath every 5 seconds to the victim.

STEP 3: Lay victim on their back, begin CPR.

If at all possible, get two CPR savvy people involved called "Two-Rescuer CPR". Rescuer #1 will do the 2 rescue breaths and Rescuer #2 will do compressions... after 2 rounds of CPR, the rescuers switch. It makes CPR less inturrupted, the rescuers less fatigued and higher success rates of CPR.

FIRST! Look for gross blockage (seaweed etc...) that can be pulled out or cleared from the victim mouth and/or throat.

Give two rescue breaths that last about a second each. (Watch to see the chest rise. If it does not, it means there is airway restriction or blockage. Do a finger sweep if you see blockage. Re-adjust the head so that the chin is pointing upward (for an adult), slightly upward for a child and paralell to chest for a baby. Try rescue breaths again to see if the chest rises. If not, start chest compressions to try to force the blockage out. Keep checking to see if you can clear the blockage.)

With one hand flat, grasp your dominant hand over the top (palm down). And lace fingers.

Place grasped hands between victim's nipples. * Begin compressions. 1 ½ - 2 inches deep for an adult, 1- 1 1/2 inces deep for a child and 1/2 - 1 inch deep for an infant.

At a rate of 100 compressions per minute. (So you you want them to be less than a second apart.) After 30 compressions, stop and give 2 rescue breaths. Give rescue breaths by pinching the nose and sealing the victim's entire mouth with yours. (For a baby, cover the baby;s nose AND mouth with your mouth)

* Resume compressions. 30 compressions, 2 rescue breaths. Continue CPR until one of the following happens: 1) A qualified person takes over CPR, 2) The scene becomes unsafe 3) You are too exhausted to continue or 4) The victim shows obvious signs of life.

IMPORTANT: Using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in conjustion with CPR has greatly improved the success rates of CPR. I suggest getting certified in both CPR AND AED from your local Red Cross or College. I have only given you basic instruction on CPR so that even if you have been MEANING to go get certified in CPR, here is how to safe a life in a nut-shell anyway. Pretty easy huh? Learn it, use it, it's common knowledge!

Don't forget your ABC's ! Airway (blockage?/ head tilt), Breathing (Rescue breaths), Circulation (Compressions).--in that order!

Additional Notes on Performing CPR

* If you cannot be helpful, move out of the way. You may be worried and scared, but you will need to let the people who know what they are doing help your loved one.

* Call 9-1-1 as soon as possible. The operator will be able to help you with CPR until the medics arrive.


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    • peachpurple profile image


      6 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      thanks, I think call the 999 is better just in case i further damage the lungs instead

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wrong! These are the old CPR Procedures!

    • profile image

      S. Hubbs 

      7 years ago

      It would be nice if you added the "Call 911 Immediately" piece in BOLD at the begginning of your article as this is the most important step for someone without medical experience.., even if trained in CPR. Thanks.


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