How to perform CPR on an adult. 2005 CPR guidelines.

The information posted in this blog about CPR is for information purposes only. The information is current according to the 2005 CPR guidelines and should not be followed if more current CPR guidelines are available. If you want to learn CPR, take a CPR course with Vancouver First Aid, where you will receive hands on training, with up to date standards, at the cheapest prices in the lower mainland.

CPR Procedures for an adult with no obstruction (no choking) and no evidence of head trauma / spinal injury and in a worst-case scenario.

1. Scene Assessment. The rescuer enters the scene looking for any dangers. A rescuer will look for removable hazards and not removable hazards. In the event when a rescuer finds unremovable hazards he/she will contact EMS. If the hazards are removable, remove the hazards and continue to the next step. As a rescuer you do not want to become a victim. Keep yourself safe at all times. A short, popular rhyme to remember when searching for hazards is “fire, wire, gas or glass”.

2. Check for mechanisms of injury. Could this victim have a spinal injury? If no signs of spinal injury are present continue  as normal. The techniques to rescuing a spinal injury victim are not mentioned in this blog. If want to learn these advanced techniques take a CPR course.

3. Check for responsiveness and levels of consicousness. Gently squeeze the victims shoulders while asking if they are ok. The rescuers squeezes the victim while asking in case the victim might have a hearing impairment. If no verbal or physical response is present continue to the next step.

4. Send a bystander to contact EMS. The rescuer will need to stay to continue providing help to the victim, so the best course of action is to send a bystander to contact EMS. Provide the bystander information of the victim including age and level of consciousness (ex: unconsciouss victim). Point at your selected bystander and call out something that they are wearing (ex: “You in the white hat!”) so that they know they have been selected. After asking them to contact EMS, ask them to bring back an AED and someone trained to use it. Make sure to ask your bystander to report back to you and if they understand. We ask them to report back so that we are sure they have contacted EMS. If you are unsure about your bystander select another one. If no bystander is present leave the adult on his/her side (also known as the recovery position) and contact EMS. If AED becomes available, the AED will take precedence over any other part of the rescue.

5. Head-tilt/chin-lift. The rescuer must open the victims airway by tilting the head back gently. With the rescuer on his/her knees, two fingers under the chin and the other palm on the forehead, gently place the victims head back in order to open the airway. This is to unblock the airway from the tongue and allow for easy passage of airway through the victims airway.

6. Look, listen and feel. With the airway open the rescuer must place his/ her ear over the victims mouth (approximately two or three inches away) and listen and feel for breathing. The ear is very sensitive and provides a good sensor to feel and hear for breathing. While listening for breathing, the victim will watch the abdomen and chest for breathing movements. Look, listen and feel for 10 seconds for normal breathing. Normal breathing will allow for 2-3 breaths in those 10 seconds. If breathing is present, place the victim into recovery position and monitor breathing periodically until EMS arrives. If no breathing or no normal breathing is present, continue to the next step.

7. Rescue Breathing. The rescuer will seal the mouth with his or her mouth and give two full breaths. During the breaths the rescuer will pinch the nose, releasing after each breath has been given. The victims airway should be open when providing breaths. Each breath should be delivered over 1 second and should make the chest rise. If available use barrier devices such as pocket pasks with one way valves and gloves.

8. Circulation. After giving two breaths, and the victim remains unresponsive, begin CPR.

9. Landmarking . Expose the vicims chest and landmark between the nipples (on the nipple line) overtop of the sternum. Place one hand overtop of the other hand and lock elbows. Rescuer should be on his or her knees overtop of the victim. Rescuer will perform chest compressions at a pace of 100 chest compressions per minute. Chest compressions will forc the chest approximately 1.5 to 2 inches down or 1/3 to 1/2 of the victims chest. The rescuer will count the chest compressions outloud until he/she reaches 30. After thirty chest compressions, the rescuer will give two breaths as explaind in step number 7.

10. Continue CPR. Rescuer will continue 30 chest compressions to 2 breaths until recuer can not continue due to fatigue, more advanced rescue personal has arrived (EMS) and asked the rescuer to stop, or victim’s condition shows signs of life.


  • To remember the right rhthym to chest compressions use the beat of a song such as “Staying Alive” by the Beegees which is 104 beats per minute.
  • The AED is a great tool. Turn it on and use it as soon as it arrives when rescuing an adult. Some AED’s provide a rhthym to do chest compressions to.
  • The AED will also give a few moments to switch with another CPR rescuer approximately every two minutes.
  • The AED will provide straight forward and simple steps for CPR.
  • Use as many bystanders as possible for help.

The information provided in this CPR blog is for information purposes only. If you want to receive hands on training with the most recent CPR standards take a Red Cross CPR course with Vancouver First Aid. We look forward to meeting you.

One Response to “How to perform CPR on an adult. 2005 CPR guidelines.”

  1. Bill Mckechnie July 14, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

    I am from the United Kingdom and used to teach first aid for the ambulance service. I have written a first aid book in rhyme in order to help remember the signs, symptoms & treatment including CPR & how to place someone into the recovery position.

    The telephone number for the emergency services is different in your Country but the principles are the same.

    The book is called First Aid + Health & Safety in Rhyme by Bill Mckechnie.

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