Adult vs. Child: Tailored CPR Techniques

Adult vs. Child: Tailored CPR Techniques

The Importance of Age-Specific Techniques

Physiological Differences

It's crucial to understand that children are not miniature adults. Their anatomy and physiology differ significantly, affecting how they respond to CPR.

Risk Factors

Children and adults usually face different risk factors for cardiac arrest. For adults, it's often heart-related, while for children, it might be due to respiratory issues.

Basic Technique: What Remains Constant

Assessment and Activation

Regardless of age, the first step in CPR is to check for responsiveness and call for emergency help.

Chest Compressions

The core action of compressing the chest to stimulate the heart is consistent across age groups. However, the technique varies.

Adult CPR Techniques

Hand Placement

For adults, use both hands to deliver compressions, one on top of the other, at the center of the chest.

Compression Depth

In adult CPR, compressions should go to a depth of about 2 inches.


The rate of chest compressions should be 100-120 per minute.


If trained to do so, giving rescue breaths after every 30 compressions is recommended.

Child CPR Techniques

Hand Placement

In children between the age of 1 and puberty, use one hand for chest compressions if you're an adult. Place the heel of the hand at the center of the chest.

Compression Depth

Compressions should be about 1.5 inches deep.


Maintain a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute, similar to adult CPR.


Children benefit significantly from rescue breathing. Provide it after every 30 compressions if possible.

Infant-Specific Techniques

Two-Finger Technique

For infants, use two fingers to give chest compressions.

Compression Depth

The depth should be about 1.5 inches.

Rescue Breaths

These are especially important for infants and should be more gentle compared to those for adults and older children.

Additional Considerations

Bystander Effect

Regardless of age, having someone perform CPR while waiting for professional help can make a difference.


Automated external defibrillators can be used in both children and adults, but pediatric pads are recommended for children.

Training and Resources

Community Courses

Many organizations offer age-specific CPR training.

Online Resources

Online platforms provide valuable information, although hands-on practice is essential.

Impact on Outcomes

Increased Survival Rates

Age-tailored techniques have been shown to improve the outcome of CPR interventions.

Quality of Life

Proper CPR can not only save lives but also reduce the risk of post-arrest complications.

Understanding the nuances between adult and child CPR techniques can be a life-saving skill. With the right knowledge and practice, anyone can be prepared to act in these critical moments.

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