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Steps to Perform CPR

Updated on September 5, 2017
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Intro To CPR

Have you always wanted to learn CPR and get certified? Well, I can teach you the basic steps of CPR but I cannot give you a certificate. However when you do go and get certified, which I know you all will, then you will already be prepared. First off CPR stands for CardioPulmonary Resuscitation. What this means is that the goal is to resuscitate the heart. Cardio meaning heart and resuscitate is like reviving or bring back to life. The first thing to know about CPR is that if you do not feel confident in performing it in an emergency situation then it is best not to do so and call 9-1-1 immediately. This is to prevent anything that may go wrong if you do not properly know the steps or how to perform the actions of CPR. Now to get to the steps. There are three slightly different versions of CPR. Certain steps for giving CPR to adults, children, and infants. I will give you the steps for all three. Over the years CPR steps have changed many times. The number of chest compressions have changed and even recently some medical experts have said that all you need to do is the compressions and not the breathing. However, in this article, I will go over the CPR steps that I was trained to perform.

Remember these are just the steps and processes of giving CPR I am not here to certify you. After learning these steps you can practice on a dummy or a friend to make sure you are doing it correctly. If you feel that you are confident enough to perform CPR in an emergency situation then you may go ahead, however, I STRONGLY recommend that you get certified first by a licensed instructor. I am not licensed nor do I teach a CPR class. I am certified myself and I am confident that I could perform CPR if needed. If you know someone that is certified then perhaps you should let them teach you. Remember CPR is a serious matter, this is a person’s life at stake. Now, like I said the difference in steps between adult, child, and infant are minimal, however, they are crucial, so every step is important. Do NOT SKIP any steps even if they are the same for all three cases. So now that we have got that cleared out of the way, onto the steps.

Demonstrate

Steps for CPR
Steps for CPR
Check for Breathing
Check for Breathing

CPR pn Adults

Here are the CPR steps in order that need to be given to adults.

1. The first step is to tap their shoulder and shout “are you okay?” This is to test their responsiveness. You don’t want to perform CPR on someone that doesn’t need it. If they do not respond then either you call 9-1-1 or you designate someone to call 9-1-1. Make sure that you call 9-1-1 before performing CPR. They may give you further instructions on what to do.

2. Next, you need to open their airway. This is done by tilting their head back and lifting up the chin. This is to ensure that there is nothing blocking the airway and that when you breathe in it goes into their lungs.

3. Now you need to check to see if they are breathing.

Place your head above their mouth.

Feel if there is any air hitting your cheek.

Listen for any air escaping their mouth.

And look to see if their chest is inflating.

If they are already breathing on their own then no need to perform CPR.

4. Now here is where the resuscitation comes in. You need to give them 2 FULL breaths of air. Make sure that you pinch their nose before you breathe into their mouth. You don’t want the air going in the mouth and coming out of the nose. Also be sure to tilt their head and lift the chin each time so that the airway is open.

5. Checking the pulse is a big step. No need to give CPR on someone that is has a beating heart. The whole point of chest compressions is to get the heart to beat. To check the pulse on a CPR victim, you must check it NOT on the wrist but ON the carotid artery that is located on your neck. First be able to find your own pulse on the neck before you try to find it on other people.

6. Here is where you give chest compressions to try and revive the heart. Now for an adult, you need to use both hands, one on top the other, fingers interlocked and arms straight. Now position yourself directly over the body and place your hand in between the breast muscles at the nipple line. Now for adults, you need to thrust down about 1 ½ inch to 2 inches. Now do that same motion 30 times. Be sure to press down deep enough and release up. If you don’t release up then the blood can’t rush out of the heart. This process of compressions is supposed to be pumping the heart. Do not do the compressions to slow. The faster the better but remember to release up. So it’s thrust down, release up, thrust down, release up, 30 times. This can be very tiring but make sure you complete all 30. Compressions are just as important as the breaths.

7. After compressions give 2 FULL breaths again while pinching the nose.

8. Then another set of 30 compressions.

9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 until you have done both 5 times alternating. So it's give the 2 breaths, do compressions, 2 breaths, compressions, 2 breaths, compressions, 2 breaths, compressions, and lastly 2 breaths, compressions. That is one full cycle of CPR. It can be exhausting so if there are two people in an emergency situation that know CPR, you might want to switch between people.

10. After the cycle is done, then it is time to check the victim again. Check their breathing and check their pulse. If they still do not respond then give another cycle of CPR. If they become conscious during CPR then no need to finish the cycle. If they still are not responding after continued CPR cycles then wait for an ambulance to come. But keep checking their breathing and pulse every few minutes.

Well, those are the steps on how to perform CPR on adults.

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CPR on a Child

To perform CPR on a child is the same as an adult except for the breaths and compressions, however, I will list all the steps because it is important to practice all the steps in order even if you already know them.

1. The first step is to tap their shoulder and shout “are you okay?” This is to test their responsiveness. You don’t want to perform CPR on someone that doesn’t need it. If they do not respond then either you call 9-1-1 or you designate someone to call 9-1-1. Make sure that you call 9-1-1 before performing CPR. They may give you further instructions on what to do.

2. Next, you need to open their airway. This is done by tilting their head back and lifting up the chin. This is to ensure that there is nothing blocking the airway and that when you breathe in it goes into their lungs.

3. Now you need to check to see if they are breathing.

Place your head above their mouth.

Feel if there is any air hitting your cheek.

Listen for any air escaping their mouth.

And look to see if their chest is inflating.

4. Now here is where the resuscitation comes in. You need to give them 2 MEDIUM breaths of air. For a child, a full breath will overfill their lungs so just a medium breath will do. Make sure that you pinch their nose before you breathe into their mouth. You don’t want the air going in the mouth and coming out of the nose. Also be sure to tilt their head and lift the chin each time so that the airway is open.

5. Checking the pulse is a big step. No need to give CPR to someone that has a beating heart. The whole point of chest compressions is to get the heart to beat. To check the pulse on a CPR victim, you must check it NOT on the wrist but ON the carotid artery that is located on your neck. First be able to find your own pulse on the neck before you try to find it on other people.

6. Here is where you give chest compressions to try and revive the heart. Now for a child, you need to use one hand, and arms straight. Now position yourself directly over the body and place your hand in between the breast muscles at the nipple line. Now for a child, you need to thrust down about 1 inch to 1 ½ inches. Now do that same motion 30 times. Be sure to press down deep enough and release up. If you don’t release up then the blood can’t rush out of the heart. This process of compressions is supposed to be pumping the heart. Do not do the compressions to slow. The faster the better but remember to release up. So it’s thrust down, release up, thrust down, release up, 30 times. This can be very tiring but make sure you complete all 30. Compressions are just as important as the breaths.

7. After compressions give 2 MEDIUM breaths again while pinching the nose.

8. Then another set of 30 compressions.

9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 until you have done both 5 times alternating. So it's give the 2 breaths, do compressions, 2 breaths, compressions, 2 breaths, compressions, 2 breaths, compressions, and lastly 2 breaths, compressions. That is one full cycle of CPR. It can be exhausting so if there are two people in an emergency situation that know CPR, you might want to switch between people.

10. After the cycle is done, then it is time to check the victim again. Check their breathing and check their pulse. If they still do not respond then give another cycle of CPR. If they become conscious during CPR then no need to finish the cycle. If they still are not responding after continued CPR cycles then wait for an ambulance to come. But keep checking their breathing and pulse every few minutes.

CPR on an Infant

To perform CPR on an infant you need to be very gentle and know what you're doing. I DO NOT recommend that you perform CPR on an infant if you are not certified, however, if the situation arises and you feel that you are capable of doing so then go ahead but be gentle.

1. The first step is to flick their feet and rub the tummy and say “baby are you okay?” This is to test their responsiveness, babies are sensitive on their feet and tummy. If they do not respond then either you call 9-1-1 or you designate someone to call 9-1-1. Make sure that you call 9-1-1 before performing CPR. They may give you further instructions on what to do.

2. Next, you need to open their airway. This is done by tilting their head back and lifting up the chin very gently. Babies have almost no neck so be gentle you do not want to snap it. This is to ensure that there is nothing blocking the airway and that when you breathe in it goes into their lungs.

3. Now you need to check to see if they are breathing.

Place your head above their mouth.

Feel if there is any air hitting your cheek.

Listen for any air escaping their mouth.

And look to see if their chest is inflating.

4. Now here is where the resuscitation comes in. You need to give them 2 SMALL breaths of air. For an infant instead of pinching the nose, just place your mouth over the nose as well as their mouth. Again to avoid the air going in the mouth and coming out of the nose. Also be sure to tilt their head and lift the chin each time so that the airway is open but ever so gently and not too far back.

5. Checking the pulse is a big step. No need to give CPR to someone that has a beating heart. The whole point of chest compressions is to get the heart to beat. To check the pulse on an infant, you must NOT check it on the wrist NOR on the carotid artery, but on their brachial artery that is located on your inner arm just below your bicep muscle. It may be hard to find on an adult but on an infant, the pulse should stand out.

6. Here is where you give chest compressions to try and revive the heart. Now for an infant, you need to use 2 fingers. Place your fingers in between the breast muscles at the nipple line. Now for infants, you need to thrust down about ½ inch to 1 inch. Any further down and you could damage something. Now do that same motion 30 times. Be sure to press down deep enough and release up. If you don’t release up then the blood can’t rush out of the heart. This process of compressions is supposed to be pumping the heart. Do not do the compressions to slow. The faster the better but remember to release up. So it’s thrust down, release up, thrust down, release up, 30 times. This can be very tiring but make sure you complete all 30. Compressions are just as important as the breaths.

7. After compressions give 2 SMALL breaths again with the mouth over the nose and mouth.

8. Then another set of 30 compressions.

9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 until you have done both 5 times alternating. So it's give the 2 breaths, do compressions, 2 breaths, compressions, 2 breaths, compressions, 2 breaths, compressions, and lastly 2 breaths, compressions. That is one full cycle of CPR. It can be exhausting so if there are two people in an emergency situation that know CPR, you might want to switch between people.

10. After the cycle is done, then it is time to check the victim again. Check their breathing and check their pulse. If they still do not respond then give another cycle of CPR. If they become conscious during CPR then no need to finish the cycle. If they still are not responding after continued CPR cycles then wait for an ambulance to come. But keep checking their breathing and pulse every few minutes.

Conclusion

Well those are the basic steps for giving CPR. One more thing that I should mention is that when you do chest compressions the general rule is that the bigger the person is the further down you have to thrust. This is because you need to reach the heart and on an adult with a big chest 1 ½ -2 inches of depth just won’t reach the heart. Also if you have a child that is just about the size of an adult then you can use two hands if you feel that you are not getting the depth with one hand. This is all extra stuff that you will learn when you go to get your certificate. Now I know that I have said it many times, but to stress the importance and seriousness of the issues I will say it again. I am not certifying you to perform CPR and you should NOT give it unless you are certified or in a extreme emergency, like being stranded. Even if you are confident that you can perform these steps I still recommend getting certified, there might be some extra important stuff that I have missed. However if it is an extreme emergency and you feel confidant enough then you at YOUR own will and the life of the person, may do as you wish. Remember that before you start ANY CPR on ANYBODY in an emergency first you MUST call 9-1-1. In case you are not confident in giving CPR then help is on the way fast. Now what you can do is still check the victim’s breathing and check their pulse. This is information that you should give to the 9-1-1 operator. One last note is that you may come across some old CPR steps that say to do 5,10 or 15 compressions and then 1 breath. Well I just got certified this year and now the proper procedure is 30 compressions and 2 breaths. So perform it this way and not the old way. That's just to help you clear up any old information about CPR. Well that is all I have to say about CPR. I strongly recommend that you get certified, but at least you know the basic in an extreme emergency. Also please read the comments below for more accurate information.

Extreme Emergency: Being stranded with no way of getting to a hospital or receiving expert care. Stranded at a campsite, in the desert, no car and no passers by

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    • profile image

      cole 

      5 years ago

      well i think that they are really good steps if a operson if chokeind

    • profile image

      Rob 

      6 years ago

      In New Zealand we are trained to check airways then for breathing and if there is none it is 30 compressions and 2 breaths repeated until help arrives. No pulse is checked for as if they are not breathing then very shortly the heart wont be working either so no need to waste time on the pulse. Compressions will not resuscitate the heart a difib machine is needed to shock the heart out of its weak state. CPR is all about keeping the Oxygen supply to the blood and the blood supply to the cells going until help and a difib machine arrive.

    • profile image

      EMT 

      6 years ago

      Regardless of whether or not you feel comfortable doing CPR you dial 911 and talk to them while doing CPR or send someone else to call 911. You NEVER start CPR before you call 911. That CPR may not work and you are screwed because you didn't call 911 then its your ass on the line...

    • profile image

      safa amjad 

      6 years ago

      thnx

    • Sun-Girl profile image

      Sun-Girl 

      7 years ago from Nigeria

      Great hub which was properly shared,thanks bravo for sharing your view.

    • EcoAsh profile imageAUTHOR

      EcoAsh 

      8 years ago from Hemet

      I do have a mask. I forgot to mention that. Yes you should have a mask before you perform CPR.

    • profile image

      Cpr Masks  

      8 years ago

      Nice article. What should be stressed out is there are a lot of people that know CPR but if they need to do CPR they don't have the equipment available like a mask and gloves in the case the person has something in his mouth i found this little kit that includes a mask with a filter gloves and a hand wipe it all comes in a hard flip top case it is easy to carry around like in a briefcase purse etc if you are certified to preform CPR you should own a CPR mask.

    • EcoAsh profile imageAUTHOR

      EcoAsh 

      9 years ago from Hemet

      Okay thanks for tha information. I will double check it and make corrections. My teacher was using an old book, but hes changing it to a newer edition. Again thank you both. I wanna make sure my CPR is correct.

    • B.Z. Alixandre profile image

      B.Z. Alixandre 

      9 years ago from Boise, ID

      Wow, your teacher needs to be checked; as a point of fact you should not be doing CPR on someone who HAS a pulse, since this can harm them and disrupt blood flow. There are a few other things that need to be expressed. Usually I wouldn't be nitpicky, but my bread and butter is teaching CPR at all levels and in multiple certifications.

      The first is that if a child or infant is found unconcious and you are alone and unable to call 911, you provide CPR for the 5 cycles BEFORE you leave the scene. This is because the leading cause of cardiac arrest in a child or infant is respiratory arrest (as opposed to a medical condition leading to cardiac arrest, v-tach, or v-fib for an adult)

      The numbers for the inches is what they used to teach (1.5-2 for adults, 1-1.5 for children and .5-1 for infants) and they still recommend 1.5-2 inches for adult compressions, however it is recommended for children and infants (and a good idea for adults outside the normal range) to compress 1/3-1/2 the chest depth (from the sternum to the ground).

      Lastly, it is better to do rudimentary CPR than it is to not do anything at all. Luckily, 911 dispatchers are trained in how to assist people in performing CPR.

      I strongly believe that everyone should know CPR, and I appreciate you reaching out to share that knowledge with others. CPR is an incredibly simple and more and more effective (when paired with AED use) tool to help save people's lives. If you want to verify my corrections, please do so, as there is no reason to assume I'm right. American Heart Association, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, and American Red Cross are the companies best suited to verify that information though there are others out there. Also, if you find that much of what your instructor has said is being contradicted, please inform someone who can verify or update their skills, since they are still teaching (presumably).

    • EcoAsh profile imageAUTHOR

      EcoAsh 

      9 years ago from Hemet

      Well thanks for that I had no idea. I just went by the instructions my teacher told us in CPR class.

    • profile image

      Dennis Lee 

      9 years ago

      I'm sorry, but i have a small problem with your instructions

      You say that you should check for the pulse because their is no need for CPR if there is none, indicating that the distressed is deceased. That is false. In the case of v-tach, which is a very fast heartbeat, or v-fib, which is an uncoordinated heartbeat, you will be unable to locate and feel a heartbeat. In these cases, it is essential to perform CPR to keep the distressed's blood flowing to prevent tissue death until an AED(automated external defribillator) or paramedics come to the scene.

      I hope my comments have helped you in your efforts to educate the masses

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