Advertisement

How do I perform CPR on a child or an adult?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Used when breathing or heartbeat has ceased, CPR can save lives. Those trained in CPR should do 30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths for as long as they can continue or until emergency help arrives. However, if you aren't formally trained in CPR or haven't been trained for a long time, do chest compressions on an adult at a rate of approximately 100 per minute (CPR for children and babies is different). To perform chest compressions, put your hand's heel in the center of the chest and place your other hand on top. Lock your elbows and use all of your upper body weight to push down on the chest. If you are unsure of your abilities or training, you do not have to perform CPR. However, in most cases, even doing something - like the 100 chest compressions per minute - is better than nothing and could save someone's life.

AFTER CHECKING THE SCENE AND THE INJURED OR ILL PERSON:

1: GIVE 30 CHEST COMPRESSIONS
  • Push hard, push fast in the center of the chest at least 2 inches deep and at least 100 compressions per minute.
[media id="PRD__4d8a2d78819a08_05894222" title="Hand placement for compression on adult"]

 Tip: The person must be on a firm, flat surface.

2: GIVE 2 RESCUE BREATHS
  • Tilt the head back and lift the chin up. 
  • Pinch the nose shut then make a complete seal over the person’s mouth. 
  • Blow in for about 1 second to make the chest clearly rise. 
  • Give rescue breaths, one after the other. 
  • If chest does not rise with rescue breaths, retilt the head and give another rescue breath.



3: DO NOT STOP
Continue cycles of CPR.
Do not stop except in one of these situations:
  • You find an obvious sign of life, such as breathing.
  • An AED is ready to use. 
  • Another trained responder or EMS personnel take over. 
  • You are too exhausted to continue. 
  • The scene becomes unsafe.

TIP: Any time you see an obvious sign of life, stop CPR and monitor breathing and for any changes in condition.

4: WHAT TO DO NEXT
  • Use an AED as soon as one is available.
  • If breaths do not make the chest rise after retilting the head, give care for unconscious choking.
American Red Cross, face shield, tilt head, open airway, mouth to mouth, give breaths

Continue Learning about First Aid Techniques

How do I give rescue breaths to an infant when performing CPR?
American Red CrossAmerican Red Cross
After giving 30 chest compressions, give 2 rescue breaths, covering the infant’s mouth and nose wi...
More Answers
What three things keep the right amount of blood flowing in the body?
American Red CrossAmerican Red Cross
The heart must be working well An adequate amount of oxygen-rich blood must be circulating in the ...
More Answers
How should I examine someone in an emergency?
American Red CrossAmerican Red Cross
Take two basic steps: Interview the person and bystanders Examine the person from head to toe
More Answers
What is the proper technique for spine boarding?
National Athletic Trainers' AssociationNational Athletic Trainers' Association
Spine boarding is a technique that is used to transport an athlete for emergency care whenever a cer...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.