Adult CPR instructions

Written by elle hanson
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Adult CPR instructions
CPR can save the life of an ill or injured individual. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Administering CPR can save the life of an ill or injured person. However, individuals who are not trained in CPR should always ask whether someone else knows CPR before trying it themselves in an emergency situation. While an overview of CPR procedures may be helpful, you should enrol in a CPR class at your local Red Cross to ensure you can perform it competently.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    Call 911 if you or someone else has not already done so.

  2. 2

    Determine whether or not the victim is unconscious. Prod the person gently and ask whether he is OK. If the person does not respond, prepare to begin CPR.

  3. 3

    Roll the victim over if she is not already lying flat on her back. Do this quickly but gently, turning the whole body at once. Avoid moving the victim as much as possible since doing so could cause damage.

  4. 4

    Tilt the victim's head back gently so that his airway is clear. Do this by placing one open palm on his forehead and the other under his chin. Be extremely careful if you suspect that the person may have a head or neck injury. Open his mouth.

  5. 5

    Check to see whether or not the victim is breathing. Watch her chest to see if it rises and falls. Lean your ear close to her mouth to listen for breathing. If the victim is not breathing, you should begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

  6. 6

    Pinch the victim's nose shut with your thumb and forefinger while letting the palm of your hand rest on his forehead to keep his head tilted back. Use the other hand to hold the victim's chin.

  7. 7

    Inhale normally before giving the first rescue breath.

  8. 8

    Place your moth over the victim's, creating an airtight seal over the person's entire mouth. Give two full breaths, watching to see whether the chest rises and falls. If it does not, you are not getting any air into the victim.

  9. 9

    Begin chest compressions after the first two breaths. Do not waste time checking to see whether or not the victim has a pulse. Chest compressions cannot hurt the victim but can certainly help.

  10. 10

    Kneel on one side of the victim and find her sternum. This is located at the bottom of the ribcage, where the rib bones meet at the end of the breastbone.

  11. 11

    Place the heel of one hand on the breastbone and then place the other on top of it. Your hands should form a "V" that intersects at the pinkies. Keep your fingers bent away from the victim's chest.

  12. 12

    Lean over the victim so that your shoulders are directly in line with his sternum. Keeping your arms straight, push downward hard and fast. Compress the chest to about a third of its depth. You should perform one compression every 1.5 seconds. Complete thirty compressions before giving the victim more life-saving breaths.

  13. 13

    Repeat steps six through thirteen until emergency help arrives.

Tips and warnings

  • Performing CPR is physically exhausting. If an emergency situation arises, ask whether anyone else knows CPR and take turns helping the victim.
  • If you are untrained or lack confidence in performing CPR, perform only chest compressions and do not attempt to administer breathing.
  • This short guide does not replace CPR training. To be truly prepared for an emergency, enrol in a first aid or CPR class.

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