Adult Chest Compressions: Depth Guidelines for Effective CPR

During cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), chest compressions play a crucial role in maintaining blood flow to the vital organs. Performing chest compressions with the correct depth is essential for effective CPR and increasing the chances of a successful outcome. In this blog post, we will discuss the guidelines for the depth of adult chest compressions, emphasizing the importance of proper technique. MyCPR NOW offers valuable resources and training programs to equip individuals with the skills needed to perform high-quality CPR.

The Importance of Proper Chest Compression Depth:

Chest compressions generate the force needed to circulate oxygenated blood to the brain and other vital organs when the heart has stopped. The depth of chest compressions directly affects the amount of blood flow generated during CPR. Compressions that are too shallow may not provide adequate circulation, while compressions that are too deep can cause damage to the underlying structures. Therefore, understanding and implementing the recommended guidelines for chest compression depth is crucial for successful resuscitation efforts.

Guidelines for Adult Chest Compression Depth:

There are guidelines for the depth of chest compressions during adult CPR. These guidelines serve as a standard for proper technique and are widely recognized and implemented. The recommended chest compression depth for adults is approximately 2 inches (5 centimeters) to 2.4 inches (6 centimeters).

Key Steps for Achieving Proper Chest Compression Depth:

1. Hand Placement:
Position yourself at the person's side and locate the lower half of the sternum (breastbone). Place the heel of one hand on the center of the chest, just above the lower half of the sternum. Stack your other hand on top, interlacing the fingers or keeping them off the chest. Ensure your shoulders are aligned directly above your hands, allowing for effective force transmission.

2. Compression Technique:
Using your body weight and keeping your arms straight, push down on the chest at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute. Compress the chest to a depth of at least 2 inches (5 centimeters) but no more than 2.4 inches (6 centimeters). Allow for complete chest recoil between compressions, allowing the chest to return to its normal position.

3. Adequate Force and Speed:
Apply enough force during compressions to achieve the recommended depth while maintaining a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute. Avoid excessive force that may cause harm or inadequate force that may compromise blood flow.

4. Continuous Monitoring and Feedback:
Continuously monitor the depth of chest compressions as you perform CPR. Utilize tools or feedback devices, if available, to help maintain consistent compression depth. These tools can provide real-time feedback on compression quality, ensuring that you achieve the desired depth.

MyCPR NOW's Resources for Chest Compression Depth:

As part of their comprehensive CPR training programs, MyCPR NOW provides valuable resources and training materials to support the learning and application of proper chest compression depth. These resources include:

1. Instructional Videos:
MyCPR NOW offers instructional videos that demonstrate proper technique for chest compressions. These videos provide visual guidance on hand placement, compression depth, and the overall process of performing high-quality CPR.

2. Interactive Learning Modules:
Their interactive learning modules cover the principles and best practices of chest compressions, including the recommended depth. These modules provide in-depth information, interactive exercises, and scenarios to enhance understanding and skill development.

3. Expert Guidelines:
MyCPR NOW's resources for chest compression depth align with recognized guidelines. They ensure that learners receive accurate and up-to-date information from reputable sources.


Performing chest compressions with the appropriate depth is crucial for effective CPR and improving survival outcomes. By following the recommended guidelines for adult chest compression depth, as outlined above and supported by MyCPR NOW's resources, you can confidently administer high-quality CPR. Remember, proper training and regular practice are essential for maintaining proficiency in chest compressions. By choosing MyCPR NOW for your CPR training needs, you can access comprehensive resources and gain the knowledge and skills necessary to perform effective chest compressions and potentially save lives.

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