Knowing how to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) in adults can help save lives. However, the recommended method for running it has changed recently, and you should understand the difference. In 2010, the American Heart Association made radical changes to the CPR process recommended for cardiac arrest victims, after studies showed that compressed CPR (not involving mouth-to-mouth breathing) was as effective as the traditional approach.
Part 1 of 5: Measuring Vital Signs
Step 1. Examine the site to learn about the immediate hazard
Make sure you don't put yourself in danger when performing CPR on an unconscious person. Is there a fire near that person's location? Was he lying in the middle of the road? Do whatever is necessary to move yourself and others to safety.
- If there is something that could harm you or the victim, see if there is anything you can do to prevent it. Open a window, turn off the stove, or put out the fire (if possible).
- However, if you can't do anything about it, move the victim. The best way to move them is by tucking a blanket or coat behind the victim's back and dragging them.
Step 2. Check the victim's consciousness
Tap on his shoulder and ask, "Are you okay?" in a loud and clear voice. If he responds by saying "Yes" or something similar, you don't need to perform CPR. Instead of performing CPR steps, provide standard first aid and take the necessary steps to manage shock. Also, see if you need to call emergency services.
If the victim does not respond, continue with the following steps
Step 3. Ask for help
The more people available to do this step the better. However, you can do it yourself. Ask someone to call emergency services.
To call emergency services, press
• 911 in North America
• 000 in Australia
• 112 via mobile phone in Europe (including UK) and Indonesia
• 999 in Great Britain.
• 102 in India
• 1122 in Pakistan
• 111 in New Zealand
• 123 in Egypt
- Give your location to the person on the phone and let him know that you will be performing CPR. If you are alone, hang up and start performing CPR. If there is someone else, ask him to keep listening to the phone line while you perform CPR on the victim.
Step 4. Do not check the pulse
Unless you are a trained medical professional, you will spend too much valuable time searching for a pulse when you should be performing CPR.
Step 5. Check the victim's breathing
Also make sure the airway is not blocked. If the victim's mouth is closed, press with your thumb and forefinger on both cheeks at the tip of the tooth, then look inside. Remove any visible obstructions, but don't put your finger too deep. Bring your ear to the victim's nose and mouth and listen for signs of small breathing. If the victim is coughing or breathing normally, do not perform CPR.
Part 2 of 5: Performing CPR
Step 1. Lay the victim on his back
Make sure he lies as flat as possible to prevent injury when you press on his chest. Tilt the victim's head back by using the palm of the hand on the forehead and pressing the chin.
Step 2. Place the heel of your hand on the victim's sternum, at a distance of 2 fingers above the area where the lower ribs meet, just between the nipples
Step 3. Place the second hand on top of the first hand with the palm facing down, lock the fingers of the second hand between the first
Step 4. Position yourself just above your hands so that your arms are straight and strong
Don't bend your arms to push, but lock your elbows and use your upper body strength.
Step 5. Perform 30 chest compressions
Press with both hands directly over the breastbone for compression, which will help the heart beat. Chest compressions are more important to correct an abnormal heartbeat rhythm (eg due to ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia, or a heart that beats fast instead of beating).
- You should press down to about 5 cm.
- Perform compressions in a fairly fast rhythm. Some suggest compression to match the rhythm of the chorus of "Stayin' Alive," a 1970s disco song, which is around 100 BPM.
Step 6. Give 2 rescue breaths
If you are trained in CPR and are really confident, give 2 rescue breaths after 30 chest compressions. Tilt the victim's head, and lift the chin. Press the nostrils shut and give 1 mouth-to-mouth rescue breath.
- Make sure to exhale slowly to make sure the air gets to his lungs.
- If air can get in, the victim's chest should look slightly bloated and it will also feel like air is getting in. Give a second rescue breath.
- If the breath doesn't work, change the victim's head and try again.
Part 3 of 5: Continuing the Process Until Help Comes
Step 1. Minimize the gap between each chest compression as you alternate between performing them or preparing for a state of shock
Try to limit interruptions to less than 10 seconds.
Step 2. Make sure the airway is open
Place your hand on the victim's forehead and two fingers on his chin, then tilt your head back to open the airway.
- If you suspect the victim has a neck injury, pull her jaw forward instead of lifting her chin. If jaw traction fails to open the airway, tilt your head and carefully lift your chin.
- If there are no signs of life, place a breather (if available) over the victim's mouth.
Step 3. Repeat this cycle for 30 chest compressions
If you are also giving artificial respiration, press the chest 30 times, then give 2 breaths; repeat 30 more compressions, then 2 additional breaths. Continue giving CPR until someone else takes over or medics arrive.
You should perform CPR for 2 minutes (5 cycles of compressions with artificial respiration) before taking the time to check for signs of life
Part 4 of 5: Using the AED
Step 1. Use an Automated External Defibrillator /AED
If an AED is available in the area, use it immediately to help the victim's heart return to work.
Make sure there are no standing water or other sources of wetness in the area
Step 2. Turn on the AED
Its voice will guide you to operate the tool.
Step 3. Open the victim's chest thoroughly
Get rid of any metal necklaces or wired bras. Look for body piercings or evidence that the victim is using an embedded pacemaker/cardio defibrillator (usually indicated by a medical wristband) to prevent you from switching on the AED in close proximity to these points.
Make sure the victim's chest is completely dry and that he or she is not wet. Be aware that if the victim's chest is very hairy, you may need to shave if possible. Some AED equipment has a razor blade for this purpose
Step 4. Attach the sticky pad with electrodes to the victim's chest
Follow the placement instructions. Move it to a distance of at least 2.5 cm from any metal piercings or equipment embedded in the victim's chest.
Make sure no one is touching the victim when you use the AED's shock power
Step 5. Press the analyze button on the AED machine
If the result indicates that you need to turn on the shock absorber, the engine will notify you. If you use it on a victim, make sure no one is touching it.
Step 6. Do not lift the pad from the victim and continue CPR for 5 cycles before re-using the AED
The sticky pads on the AED device are meant to keep the device attached.
Part 5 of 5: Placing the Patient in the Recovery Position
Step 1. Position the patient ONLY when he is stable and able to breathe on his own
Step 2. Bend and elevate one knee joint, pushing the victim's hand opposite the raised knee, so that it is partially under the hip with the leg straight
Then, place the free hand on the opposite side of the shoulder, and roll the victim to lie on the side of the straight leg. Bend knees/legs will be up and help keep the body rolling to the side of the stomach. The arms with the hands under the hips will also not protrude when the victim is forced to lie on his side.
Step 3. Use this recovery position to help the victim breathe more easily
This position keeps saliva from collecting at the back of the mouth/throat, and helps the tongue hang to the side without falling to the back of the mouth and blocking the airway.
- If you are unable or unwilling to give artificial respiration, perform "full compression CPR" for the victim. This action will help her to recover from the heart attack
- Always call emergency services.
- You can get guidance on proper CPR technique from an emergency services operator if needed.
- If you must move or roll the victim's body, try to minimize the disturbance to the body as much as possible.
- Take appropriate training from a qualified organization in your area of residence. Exercises taught by experienced instructors are the best way to prepare for an emergency.
- The most important thing is not to panic. Although a heart attack can be very stressful, stay calm and think clearly.
- Remember that CPR procedures are different for adults, children, and infants; The procedure described here is for adults.
- Remember, if the victim is not under your responsibility and she is conscious, ask her permission before helping. If he can't respond, you're considered to have permission.
- As long as your hands are positioned properly, don't be afraid to use your upper body strength to press against an adult's sternum. What you really need is the strength to push the heart against the victim's back so that the blood is pumped.
- Don't slap the victim to wake him up. Don't scare him. Shake the shoulders slowly and call the victim.
- If possible, wear gloves and use a respiratory barrier to prevent disease transmission.
- If you live in the US, all the states have some kind of "Good Samaritan Law." This law protects a person providing first aid, as long as he assists reasonably, from any lawsuits or legal consequences. There has never been a successful lawsuit against someone performing CPR in the US.
- Do not move the patient unless he or she is in danger or in a life-threatening area.
- If he is breathing normally, is coughing, or is moving, do not perform chest compressions.