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CPR in Adults: Positioning Your Hands for Chest Compressions


Picture of positioning the hands for chest compressions

Picture of arm and body positions for doing chest compressions

If an adult or child is not breathing normally, find the compression landmark.

  • Kneel next to the person.
  • Use your fingers to locate the end of the person's breastbone, where the ribs come together.
  • Place two fingers at the tip of the breastbone.
  • Place the heel of the other hand right above your fingers (on the side closest to the person's face).
  • Use both hands to give chest compressions. Stack your other hand on top of the one that you just put in position. Lace the fingers of both hands together, and raise your fingers so they do not touch the chest.
  • The compression rate is at least 100 compressions a minute.
  • If you know CPR and are giving rescue breaths, give 30 compressions to 2 breaths.
ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerDavid Messenger, MD
Last RevisedMarch 27, 2012

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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