To many, it’s a scary thought to have someone near you, physically or emotionally, become unresponsive in front of your eyes. Most people would follow step 1 as an instinct: call 911. However, the number of people who would know what to do past that point, or how to do it, is unfortunately minimal.
Bystanders should have basic knowledge on performing CPR to increase the survival rate for the victim until medical assistance arrives. Even hands only CPR is a step in the right direction. It’s better to do something than just stand and wait for the emergency response team to show up.
In an effort to teach more people about CPR, we’ve provided a quick guide for CPR.:
(You can get CPR Certified and learn detailed steps through the American CPR Care Association)
Activate Emergency Response (EMS)
Most people are conditioned to immediately dial 911 in any emergency situation. What many people do not know is that different from adults, when it comes to infants, it’s recommended to first perform a set of compressions before dialing 911. It is advised to have the emergency response team on speaker so you can follow their prompts.
When performing CPR on an unresponsive adult, place the heel of your hand on the breastbone; place your other hand on top and interlace your fingers. Remember to keep your arms straight. Pushing hard and fast at least 2 inches and no more than 2.4 inches deep.
As stated by the American Heart Association, you can push to the beat of the Bee Gees classic song, “Staying Alive” to give at least 100 to 120 compressions per minute. You can also count in this way: “one and two and three and four” quickly. More information on the specific depth and rate of compressions plus the difference between adult, child and infant CPR is provided in CPR online classes.
- Adults: interlace your fingers and push with 2 hands
- Children: Use the palm of just 1 hand
- Infants: When chest compressions are needed, use just 2 fingers (index and middle finger)
Tilt the head, open the airway and prepare to provide 2 rescue breaths. When providing rescue breaths, it is very common to pinch the nose. Although when it comes to infants, you need to create a seal over the infant’s mouth and nose. This is one of the few techniques that are different when performing cpr on an infant.
Locate a Defibrillator
Get an AED, Automatic External Defibrillator, if available. Many public settings do have one available. Turn it on and follow the prompts. Make sure you the scene is safe and if prompted to deliver shock, make sure no one including you is touching the victim.
Continue Until EMS Arrives
Continue CPR and shock with AED as instructed until help or EMS arrives. Stop if the victim starts responding or the scene becomes unsafe. Otherwise, keep going.
This was just a quick guide for performing CPR. It is highly recommended to enroll in an online CPR course to receive full training. CPR is a skill you may never use, but probably one of the most important skills to know when it is the right time.