Breath of Life: Understanding the Core Techniques of CPR

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving technique used to revive individuals experiencing cardiac arrest or who have stopped breathing. Understanding the core techniques of CPR is essential for anyone who may need to respond to a medical emergency. Here, we'll demystify the key components of CPR:

1. Chest Compressions:

  • Chest compressions are the cornerstone of CPR. They help maintain blood circulation to vital organs, including the brain and heart.
  • Technique: Place the heel of one hand on the center of the victim's chest (just below the nipple line). Place your other hand on top of the first hand, interlocking your fingers.
  • Position yourself with your shoulders directly over your hands and elbows locked.
  • Press hard and fast, aiming for a rate of about 100-120 compressions per minute.
  • Allow the chest to fully recoil between compressions. Compress the chest to a depth of at least 2 inches (5 centimeters).

2. Rescue Breaths (Ventilations):

  • Rescue breaths provide oxygen to the victim's lungs, especially if they are not breathing or not breathing normally.
  • Technique: After every 30 chest compressions, give two rescue breaths.
  • Tilt the victim's head back and lift the chin to open the airway.
  • Pinch the victim's nose closed and create an airtight seal by placing your mouth over theirs.
  • Give a breath that makes the victim's chest visibly rise.

3. Proper Hand Placement:

  • Hand placement for chest compressions is crucial to ensure effective circulation.
  • It should be on the lower half of the victim's sternum (breastbone) and aligned with the nipple line.

4. Compression Depth:

  • Compressions should be deep enough to generate adequate blood flow but not excessive to avoid causing harm.
  • Aim for a compression depth of at least 2 inches (5 centimeters) but not more than 2.4 inches (6 centimeters).

5. Compression Rate:

  • The recommended compression rate is about 100-120 compressions per minute. This is roughly to the beat of the song "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees.

6. Continuous CPR:

  • Continue cycles of 30 chest compressions followed by 2 rescue breaths until the victim shows signs of life, professional help arrives, or you are too fatigued to continue.

7. Automated External Defibrillator (AED):

  • If an AED is available, use it as soon as possible. These devices can analyze the victim's heart rhythm and provide shocks if necessary to restore a normal rhythm.

8. Quality Over Speed:

  • While it's essential to maintain a steady rhythm with chest compressions and breaths, prioritize the quality of each compression and breath over speed.

9. Call for Help:

  • Always call 911 (or your local emergency number) before starting CPR if someone is unresponsive and not breathing or not breathing normally.

10. Training and Certification: - Consider taking a CPR course to receive proper training and certification in CPR and AED use. Training provides hands-on experience and builds confidence.

Remember that CPR should be initiated as quickly as possible when someone is unresponsive and not breathing. Immediate action increases the chances of survival. While these core techniques are crucial, professional medical help should be sought in all cases of cardiac arrest or severe injury.

 CPR + First Aid Certification

Back to blog