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How do I position my hands correctly during CPR on an adult?

  1. Locate the correct hand position by placing the heel of one hand on the person’s sternum (breastbone) at the center of his or her chest. 
    [media id="PRD__4d8a2bd9755f03_63917704" title="Hand to chest over heart"]
  2. Place your other hand directly on top of the first hand and try to keep your fingers off of the chest by interlacing them or holding them upward. 
    [media id="PRD__4d8a2bfd4af8d1_04810824" title="Finding hand position"]
  3. If you feel the notch at the end of the sternum, move your hands slightly toward the person’s head. If you have arthritis in your hands, you can give compressions by grasping the wrist of the hand positioned on the chest with your other hand. 
  4. The person’s clothing should not interfere with finding the proper hand position or your ability to give effective compressions. If it does, loosen or remove enough clothing to allow deep compressions in the center of the person’s chest. 
American Red Cross, heel of hand on sternum, above xyphoid process, support wrist with hand

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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.