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Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) (cont.)

Start with Chest Compressions

  • If the person is not breathing normally, begin doing chest compressions. Place the heel of one hand on the center of the chest, right between the nipples. Place the heel of your other hand on top of the first hand. Lock your elbows and position your shoulders directly above your hands. Press down on the chest with enough force to move the breastbone down about 2 inches. Compress the chest 30 times, at a rate of at least 100 times per minute (slightly faster than once every second). Allow the chest to completely recoil after each compression.
  • After 30 compressions, stop, open the airway while keeping the victim's head tilted back, and provide two slow breaths. Place your mouth around the victim's mouth and pinch the nose shut. Then, position your hands in the same spot as before and perform another 30 chest compressions. Continue the cycles of 30 compressions and two breaths until an AED becomes available or until EMS providers arrive. With the fear of contracting an infection from a person by providing mouth to mouth breathing, it is no longer necessary to provide two breaths to the affected individual. The most important step you can provide is at least 100 compressions per minute to the affected individual until help arrives.
  • This technique of performing CPR may be used on anyone older than eight years of age.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/6/2013

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Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) consists of chest compressions and artificial ventilation used to maintain circulatory flow and oxygenation during cardiac arrest.

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