How to Perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving technique used to revive a person who has stopped breathing or whose heart has stopped beating effectively. If you witness someone experiencing cardiac arrest or a situation where they are unresponsive and not breathing or only gasping, you should immediately initiate CPR. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to perform CPR:

1. Ensure Safety:

  • Before approaching the person, make sure the scene is safe for you to enter. Ensure there are no immediate dangers, such as traffic, electrical hazards, or hazardous materials.

2. Check Responsiveness:

  • Tap the person gently on the shoulder and call out loudly to check if they are responsive. Say something like, "Are you okay?" or "Can you hear me?"
  • If there is no response or if the person is only gasping, immediately call for emergency medical assistance (e.g., dial 911 or your local emergency number) if you haven't already done so.

3. Position for CPR:

  • Place the person on their back on a firm surface. Ensure they are lying flat with enough space around them to perform CPR effectively.

4. Assess for Normal Breathing:

  • Lean in closely to the person's mouth and nose and look for signs of normal breathing (chest rise and fall, airflow, and normal breathing sounds). Do this for no more than 10 seconds.
  • If the person is not breathing or only gasping, begin CPR immediately.

5. Chest Compressions:

  • Kneel beside the person's chest.
  • Place the heel of one hand on the center of the person's chest, just below the nipple line.
  • Place the other hand on top of the first hand and interlock your fingers.
  • Position yourself with your shoulders directly above your hands.

6. Compression Technique:

  • Use your upper body weight to push down hard and fast at a rate of about 100-120 compressions per minute. Allow the chest to fully recoil between compressions.
  • Compression depth should be at least 2 inches (5 centimeters) for adults and children (ages 8 and older) and about 1.5 inches (4 centimeters) for infants and children (ages 1 to 7).

7. Rescue Breaths:

  • After 30 chest compressions, give 2 rescue breaths.
  • Tilt the person's head back slightly, pinch their nose closed, and give a breath that makes the chest rise visibly.
  • For children and infants, give rescue breaths as follows:
    • Children (ages 1 to 7): One breath every 3-5 seconds.
    • Infants (under age 1): One breath every 3-5 seconds using a gentler puff of air.

8. Continue CPR:

  • Continue the cycle of 30 chest compressions followed by 2 rescue breaths.
  • Continue CPR until one of the following occurs:
    • The person starts breathing on their own.
    • Professional medical help arrives and takes over.
    • You are too exhausted to continue.

Remember that early intervention with CPR can significantly increase the chances of survival in cases of cardiac arrest or respiratory distress. While performing CPR, focus on delivering chest compressions at the correct rate and depth and providing effective rescue breaths. If an automated external defibrillator (AED) is available, use it as soon as possible and follow its prompts.

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