CPR: The Basics Everyone Should Know


In an emergency situation, you might find yourself having to provide life-saving CPR to a person lying on the ground. The sooner you start the compressions, the better chance the victim has of making a full recovery. While it's important to call for medical assistance as quickly as possible (and do so if there's no one else around), knowing how to perform CPR can save lives and give you peace of mind in any situation where it's needed.

Watch this video to learn CPR basics.

Watch this video to learn CPR basics.

  • Watch the video, pause it, and restart it as many times as you want.
  • Share this link with your friends! The more people who know how to perform CPR, the better off we'll all be when someone needs help.

The video is short and informative--it shows step-by-step procedures for performing chest compressions on an adult (and also provides some tips for kids). You can take this lesson with you wherever you go by bookmarking this page or saving it in your Pocket or Instapaper so that it's always at hand when needed!

Be sure you feel comfortable giving compressions.

Before you begin, be sure you feel comfortable giving compressions. If you are unsure of how to perform CPR or have any doubts about your ability to do so, do not attempt it. You should also not perform CPR if:

  • You're tired or have a medical condition (such as diabetes) that could make it difficult for you to give effective compressions
  • Your hands or wrists are injured in any way
  • You have an allergic reaction to latex gloves (if used).

If none of these situations apply and someone is unconscious after an accident or other emergency situation, follow these steps:

Check the person's airway and breathing.

If you find a person who is not breathing normally, you must start chest compressions. This will help keep blood flowing to their brain and other vital organs. To do this:

  • Check the person's airway and make sure it is clear of any obstructions (such as vomit or food). If there are no obstructions, then proceed with checking their breathing pattern. If there is an obstruction, remove it before checking for breathing patterns again; otherwise, you may risk further injury if you don't remove the obstruction first! 2) Compress firmly at least 2 inches (5 cm) above their nipples for 30 seconds at a time, then check again for signs of life (breathing). Repeat these steps until help arrives or until another trained individual takes over caregiving duties from you

Call 911 if the person is unresponsive and not breathing normally.

If you find yourself in a situation where someone is not breathing normally, call 911 immediately. Don't delay for even a minute. If you can't reach 911 on your phone or the number isn't working, try 000 instead.

If possible, place the call from outside their room; this will help prevent any further injury to yourself if something goes wrong inside their home or building. When you are ready to speak with the dispatcher: Stay calm! Do not hang up before speaking with them--they need all of your information so that they can send help as quickly as possible (and keep everyone safe). The dispatcher will ask questions about where you are and what happened; answer these questions truthfully and follow their instructions carefully throughout this process

Start chest compressions by positioning yourself on one side of the victim and using the heel of one hand to press firmly on their chest at least 2 inches (5 cm) above their nipples.

The first step in performing chest compressions is to position yourself on one side of the victim. Make sure that you are not pressing too hard with your hand, as this can cause harm.

Start by placing the heel of one hand on top of their chest at least 2 inches (5 cm) above their nipples. Push down firmly, compressing at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) and making sure you are pressing hard enough so that they feel it--you should be able to see their chest move down when doing this correctly! Continue performing these compressions at a rate of 100 per minute until help arrives or medical professionals arrive at the scene

You can use CPR in an emergency situation to help someone who has stopped breathing

CPR is not always necessary. CPR is only for people who have stopped breathing or whose hearts have stopped beating. This can happen when someone has had a heart attack or seizure, but it also occurs when someone has drowned, been poisoned by carbon monoxide or other toxins, suffered trauma from an accident or gunshot wound, or been hurt in a fall from a height (such as out of a window), and more.

CPR should be used if someone has stopped breathing or their heart has stopped beating--not just for any medical emergency where you think it might help. You should call 911 immediately if your friend is unconscious; then begin CPR immediately after calling 911 so that paramedics can arrive on the scene quickly with advanced medical equipment such as defibrillators that can shock the heart back into rhythm if needed


If you're ever in a situation where you need to use CPR, it's important that you know what to do. This video will help give you a basic understanding of how to perform chest compressions and rescue breaths on someone who has stopped breathing or is not responding normally.


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