Give CPR

Edited by Train Wreck, Eng, VisiHow

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Administering CPR to a person in need requires specialized training, an understanding of the human body, and the ability to remain calm in an emergency. Not everyone has what it takes to perform CPR properly in a life-or-death situation. However, if you're interested in learning more about CPR and what you can do to save someone's life, this article is a great place to learn a little about what is involved in CPR. We have broken the topics up into "Adults", "Children", and "Infants"'. This is because adults and children, while different, are more easily communicated with and assisted than infants, which are much more delicate and prone to severe injury if an inexperienced person attempts to perform CPR. As with all of our medical articles here on VisiHow, always keep in mind that they are for reference and informational purposes. We aren't doctors, and while some of us are trained in CPR, we aren't certified to teach it. What we can do though is give you a good idea of the process, which we hope will help you decide whether or not you have what it takes to save a life. If you feel you do, then get out there and get yourself certified!

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What is CPR for Adults

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can be very useful in life-threatening emergencies. Before you decide to give CPR, however, you should know when someone may need it and be trained to provide it. Remember, this is an instructional article designed to teach you a little bit about CPR. It is not intended to substitute medical advice or professional medical assistance. While in most cases it is better to take some action than to do nothing if someone's life is in danger, improperly administered CPR can do more harm than good. Spending a few minutes to read this article and understand what CPR is, and then taking the time to get yourself certified just may help save someone's life. In the article below, we will explain what CPR for adults is. If you need to give CPR to a child or to an infant, the general process is similar, but there are some notable differences. We discuss giving CPR to children in the next section of this article. To learn about the the CPR process when given to infants, visit our other VisiHow article. In addition, if you'd like more information on First Aid, we've got an article on that too.

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When to use CPR

CPR should be used when someone's breathing is obstructed or when their heart has stopped beating. This is because CPR is a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths administered mouth to mouth. It is only used to oxygenate blood to keep the brain and vital organs alive in the event of a severe emergency.

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  1. 1
    CPR Recommendations.
    It is recommended to begin CPR with chest compressions. If you are not trained or were trained long ago or simply not confident, you can simply do chest compressions until emergency responders arrive. If you are trained and confident, alternate giving chest compressions with opening the victim's airway and performing rescue breathing.
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  2. 2
    Before you begin.
    Before you begin CPR, contact emergency responders and get help immediately if you or someone nearby has quick access to a telephone. This is especially true if you are untrained or not confident, emergency services can give you instructions to follow the proper procedure until help arrives. In addition, you should know whether the victim is conscious and responsive. The victim should be on his or her back with you kneeling at their side, near the shoulders.
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  3. 3
    Giving chest compressions.
    The heel, or bottom of one of your palms, should be placed at the center of the victim's chest, and your other hand should be placed directly on top. Keeping your arms straight and your shoulders directly above your hands, press down firmly and quickly on the victim's chest about 2 inches or 5 centimeters at a rate of 100 compressions per minute. If you are untrained or not confident, continue chest compressions until there are signs the victim is moving or until emergency services arrives. If you are trained and have performed around 30 chest compressions, continue to the next step, which is clearing the airway.
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  4. 4
    Opening the airway.
    Open the victim's airway by placing one of your palms on his or her forehead and using your other hand to gently lift their chin forward. This will open the airway. Take no more than five or ten seconds to check for breathing. You can do this by tilting your head to the side so you are looking down at the victim's chest and placing your cheek very close to their nose and mouth. This positioning will allow you to listen and feel for breath, while noticing any movement in the chest. If the victim is not breathing normally and you are trained, begin rescue breathing.
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  5. 5
    Performing rescue breathing.
    With the victim's airway opened, pinch their nostrils shut with one hand and cover their mouth with yours, making sure to form a seal. Prepare to give two breaths. The first breath should last for one second. While giving the first breath, watch the victim's chest to see if it rises. If the victim's chest rises, give the second breath. If the chest does not rise, repeat the steps to open the victim's airway and then give the second breath. Thirty chest compressions and two rescue breaths is a complete CPR cycle. After finishing the first cycle, repeat a second cycle. Five complete cycles should be repeated before further action is taken, making sure to keep checking for signs of movement or normal breathing from the victim. CPR should be stopped when there are signs of movement or when emergency services arrive to assist.
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Additional Considerations

Remember that the steps above only provide a general overview of giving CPR to adults. This article is only for reference purposes, and is not intended to give medical advice. However, remembering the sequence of steps -- Chest compressions -- Airway opening -- Breathing -- or C-A-B -- can help you save someone's life once you've taken the time to get trained and certified in CPR. Even if you are not certified, you can still make sure you or someone nearby contacts emergency services. As suggested earlier, if you really want to save a life, then check in your area for a CPR certification course, and go get yourself certified so you can be ready to assist in an emergency.

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What is CPR for a Child

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an important life-saving technique that can be used when someone has stopped breathing or their heart has stopped beating. This article covers the CPR process for children at least one-year old, and we have discussed adults in the section immediately preceding this entry. For infants, please see the relevant VisiHow articles. The process of CPR for children at least one-year of age is essentially the same process as for adults, however, there are some important and notable differences. Earlier we discussed the C-A-B procedure, or Chest compressions -- Airway opening -- Breathing. This should still be your primary focus, which we will expand upon below, but with considerations for administering CPR to children.

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  1. 1
    Chest Compressions.
    As with adults, 30 chest compressions should be given at the rate of 100 chest compressions per minute. Chest compressions on a child should be more gentle that those given to an adult. One hand should be used to give the chest compressions. Follow one set of chest compressions with opening the airway and giving two rescue breaths.
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  2. 2
    Opening the airway.
    Use the same procedure to open the child's airway, placing one palm on his or her forehead and using your other hand to tilt his or her chin forward. Take a few seconds to check for breathing by leaning down and turning your face so that you are looking toward the child's chest. This way, you can feel and listen for a breath coming from the mouth or nose while noticing if the victim's chest is rising. If no movement or breathing is detected, prepare to give two rescue breaths by pinching the victim's nose and opening their mouth. Don't pinch the nose too hard. Sometimes people giving CPR don't realize how much adrenaline is pumping through them, and they squeeze harder than intended on a child's nose. This happens because it's easy to grab both soft tissue and also pinch the bone or cartilage, as a child's nose is so much smaller than that of an adult.
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  3. 3
    Performing rescue breathing.
    Two rescue breaths should be performed, but they can be a little more gentle than the rescue breaths given to an adult. While breathing, watch to make sure the child's chest rises. Following the two breaths, and the completion of one CPR cycle, repeat these steps. Five cycles should be performed, making sure to note if the victim begins to move or breathe normally. Continue until there are signs of movement or until emergency services have arrived.
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Additional Considerations

The steps above are only intended to provide an overview of how to perform CPR on a child at least one-year old. It is very important to understand the subtle but notable differences between performing CPR on a child and on an adult. Additional instruction is beyond the scope of this article, as it's only intended as an informational overview. You need to decide if, after reading about CPR, you feel comfortable enough with the concept that you're interested in getting certified. Then, you need to check in your area for a CPR certification course -- just ask any hospital, fire department, or police department. They will be able to point you in the right direction. Once you complete a certification course, it will give you the practice and the confidence you need to be able to assist people in emergencies, and to potentially save a life.

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References

See our other tutorials on health: Give First Aid, Recognize a Seizure, Give CPR to an Infant, Treat a Seizure, Get Help with a Drinking Problem, Give PPV, Make Yourself Throw Up, and Setup Emergency Medical ID on an iPhone 6s Plus.

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Categories : Physical Health

Recent edits by: Eng, Train Wreck

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