1. Ensure Safety
Before you start CPR, make sure the environment is safe for both you and the victim. Check for any hazards, such as traffic, fire, or dangerous substances. If the scene is not safe, do not approach the victim; instead, call for help.
2. Assess Responsiveness
Approach the victim and gently tap their shoulder while shouting loudly, "Are you okay?" If there's no response, the person is unresponsive, and you need to proceed with CPR.
3. Call for Help
If there is someone nearby, instruct them to call 911 (or your local emergency number) and get an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) if available. If you are alone, make the call yourself or use a speakerphone while continuing with CPR.
4. Check for Breathing
Place your ear close to the victim's mouth and nose while keeping your eyes on their chest. Look for chest movement, listen for breath sounds, and feel for breath on your cheek. Do this for no more than 10 seconds. If the victim is not breathing or only gasping for breath, it's time to start CPR.
5. Begin Chest Compressions
Position the victim on their back on a firm surface.
- 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, fingers interlocked.
- Keep your elbows straight and your shoulders directly over your hands.
Use your upper body weight to push down hard and fast (at least 2 inches deep) on the victim's chest. Push at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute. Allow the chest to fully recoil between compressions. Remember, effective chest compressions are essential for circulating blood to vital organs.
6. Give Rescue Breaths (If Trained)
If you are trained in CPR and willing to provide rescue breaths, do so after 30 compressions:
- Tilt the victim's head back slightly and lift the chin to open the airway.
- Pinch the victim's nose shut.
- Take a normal breath, cover the victim's mouth with yours, and give a breath that lasts about one second and makes the chest rise visibly.
- Continue with chest compressions, alternating 30 compressions and 2 rescue breaths until help arrives, an AED becomes available, or the victim shows signs of life.
7. Use an AED (If Available)
If an AED arrives or becomes available, follow the device's voice prompts. These devices are user-friendly and will guide you through the process. Continue CPR as needed between AED analyses and shocks.
8. Continue CPR Until Help Arrives
Continue CPR until:
- Professional help arrives and takes over.
- The victim starts breathing normally.
- You are too exhausted to continue.
Remember, CPR can be physically demanding, so if someone else is available to take over, switch with them every 2 minutes if possible.
Knowing how to perform CPR is a valuable skill that can save lives. In an emergency, acting quickly and confidently can make a significant difference. Keep in mind that this guide is for informational purposes, and it's strongly recommended to take a recognized CPR certification course for hands-on training and certification.