The 7 Steps of CPR

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a critical life-saving technique used to maintain blood circulation and oxygen supply to the brain and vital organs during cardiac arrest. As a leading provider of CPR training and education, MyCPR NOW recognizes the importance of understanding the step-by-step process of CPR. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the seven essential steps of CPR, emphasizing the proper technique, the importance of prompt action, and the role of each step in maximizing the chances of survival for the victim. Whether you're a concerned citizen, a healthcare professional, or someone seeking to be prepared for emergencies, this guide will empower you to confidently administer CPR when it matters most.

I. Assess the Situation and Ensure Safety

1. Size Up the Scene: Before approaching the victim, quickly assess the scene to ensure your safety and the safety of others.

2. Check for Responsiveness: Gently tap the victim and shout loudly to assess responsiveness.

3. Call for Help: If the victim is unresponsive, immediately call for emergency medical help or ask someone nearby to call while you initiate CPR.

II. Open the Airway

1. Head-Tilt Chin-Lift: Position yourself at the victim's side and place one hand on their forehead and two fingers of the other hand under the chin.

2. Head-Tilt: Gently tilt the head backward to open the airway.

III. Check for Normal Breathing

1. Look, Listen, and Feel: Watch for chest rise and fall, listen for breathing sounds, and feel for air movement on your cheek.

2. Absence of Normal Breathing: If the victim is not breathing normally or not breathing at all, they are experiencing cardiac arrest.

IV. Begin Chest Compressions

1. Hand Position: Kneel next to the victim and place the heel of one hand on the center of their chest, just below the nipple line.

2. Second Hand Placement: Stack your other hand on top of the first with fingers interlaced.

3. Compression Technique: Use your body weight to compress the chest at least 2 inches (5 centimeters) deep for adults and at least one-third the depth of the chest for children and infants.

4. Compression Rate: Compress the chest at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute.

V. Provide Rescue Breaths

1. Airway Opening: After completing the first cycle of 30 compressions, perform the head-tilt chin-lift maneuver again to open the airway.

2. Pinch the Nose: Pinch the victim's nose closed with your fingers to prevent air from escaping.

3. Mouth-to-Mouth Breaths: Take a deep breath, form a seal over the victim's mouth, and give two rescue breaths.

VI. Continue Chest Compressions and Rescue Breaths

1. Compressions to Breaths Ratio: After the initial cycle of 30 compressions and two breaths, continue with the ratio of 30:2 for subsequent cycles.

2. Uninterrupted CPR: Minimize interruptions in CPR to maintain blood flow and oxygen supply.

VII. Use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) if Available

1. AED Availability: If an AED is available, turn it on and follow the voice prompts.

2. AED Pad Placement: Apply the AED pads to the victim's bare chest following the device's instructions.

3. AED Analysis: Allow the AED to analyze the heart rhythm, and if it advises a shock, ensure that no one is touching the victim and press the shock button as directed.

4. Resume CPR: After a shock is delivered, immediately resume CPR with chest compressions and rescue breaths.


The seven steps of CPR provide a systematic and effective approach to respond to cardiac arrest and increase the chances of survival for the victim. Understanding and mastering each step empowers you to be prepared for emergencies and confidently perform life-saving interventions when needed. Proper technique, immediate action, and teamwork are essential in administering CPR effectively. As a responsible provider of CPR training and education, MyCPR NOW encourages individuals to consider formal training to gain hands-on practice and stay updated on the latest guidelines. By recognizing the importance of each step in CPR and practicing the skills regularly, you can become a crucial link in the Chain of Survival, contributing to increased survival rates and supporting the well-being of those in need during cardiac emergencies.

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