Basic first aid: CPR

CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a vital life-saving technique that involves delivery of rescue breaths and chest compression to a victim of cardiac arrest or other conditions in which an individual stops breathing. Performing CPR helps provide a small amount of oxygen and blood flow that delays damage to the brain until normal heart function is restored with advance life support. All healthcare professionals should be trained in CPR, but non-health personnel should also learn CPR as well to help save lives in unexpected scenarios.

First step

You have to check the scene or area to ensure that it is safe to approach before performing CPR to the victim. In case there are bystanders present, request someone to call for emergency assistance right away.

Roll the individual gently on his/her back if he/she is lying on the side or on the stomach. Shake or tap the shoulder of the individual and ask in a loud voice, “Are you OK?”


Perform 30 chest compression after delivery of rescue breathing.

Second step

You have to kneel close to the head and shoulders of the victim. Position the heel of one hand above the middle of the victim’s chest right above the sternum. Place the other hand over the first hand. Make sure that the elbows are straight and put your shoulders directly over the hand. Thrust down into the body using the upper body, not the arms. Compress at least 2 inches into the chest at the rate of 100 compressions in a minute.

Third step

You have to check the airway of the victim by positioning your palm over the forehead and gently tilting the head back. You have to lift the chin forward to open up the airway using the other hand. Inspect carefully if there is breathing for no more than 5-10 seconds. Observe for chest movement or feel for air moving in and out of the mouth or nose.

Fourth step

Start rescue breathing if you could not detect any normal breathing. You have to pinch the nostril of the individual close and position your mouth completely over the mouth of the victim to create a seal. Deliver two rescue breaths by blowing air into the mouth of the victim and check if the chest rises and falls.

Perform 30 chest compression after delivery of rescue breathing. You have to recap steps 2-4 up until the individual starts to breathe in a normal manner or until the medical team arrives on the scene to take over to provide further care to the individual.

Being prepared to help out an individual experiencing a cardiac attack is vital. This is possible by enrolling in a first aid course with a credible first aid training provider in your area. You can help save a life with this basic first aid technique.


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