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Information about CPR

We Have to Know about the CPR

  • CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) saves lives. Someone’s life may depend on you reading this section
  • CPR combines mouth-to-mouth breathing and chest compressions to rescue a person who has no pulse. The purpose is to keep oxygenated blood circulating to the brain and other vital organs until help arrives. If the brain is starved of oxygen for more than four minutes, permanent brain damage can result. Therefore, immediate action is required and every second count
  • In these situations, think A, B, C: Airway, Breathing, and Circulation. First, open the airway, then start breathing, and then start chest compressions. Always do it in this order

Action plan

Is the person responding to shake and sound?

  • Ask with a loud voice: Are you OK? If there is no response, tap or gently shake or tap the shoulder. (If you suspect a head or neck injury, do not shake the shoulder.) In the case of a baby, tap the feet. If there is no response

For adults and children over 8:

  1. Call. Shout loudly for help if you are alone. Or call for help and return to the victim
  2. Blow. Open the airway by tilting the head back – keep one hand on the victim’s forehead and two fingers of the other hand under the chin to lift the jaw. (If you suspect a head or neck injury, avoid tilting the head. Carefully lift the jaw only.)
    • Look, listen and feel for breathing
    • If there is breathing, place the person in a recovery position (If you suspect a head or spinal injury, do not do so). If there is no breathing (or if you are unsure), roll the victim on his or her back. (If you suspect a head or neck injury, gently roll the head, neck, and shoulders together as a unit until the person is on his or her back)
    • Pinch the nose shut while you continue to lift the chin forward to keep the airway open
    • Cover the victim’s mouth with yours to create an airtight seal, and blow steadily while you watch to see if the chest rises
    • Each breath should take 2 seconds. Between breaths, lift your head and see if his or her chest falls. If the chest rises and falls, it is effective breathing. If it does not, adjust the head and try again. Remove any obvious obstructions from the mouth. Makeup to 5 attempts if necessary
    • As soon as you’ve given 2 effective breaths, stop and check for signs of circulation. If signs of circulation are present, continue giving 10 breaths per minute until help arrives. Check for circulation every minute. Place in recovery position if breathing returns.
    • If you cannot achieve effective breaths or there are no signs of circulation, start chest compressions
  1. Pump (only if no signs of circulation)
  2. Kneel beside the person. Place the heel of one hand right between the nipples and on the breastbone. Place the heel of your other hand on top of the first hand. Lean over the victim with your arms straight and elbows locked, with your shoulders directly above your hands. Press down vertically on the victim’s breastbone 4-5 cm. It will help to count: “one-and-two-and-three-and-four…”, giving one push each time you say a number. When saying “and”, release the pressure but do not move your hands. Give 15 pumps at almost 2 compressions per second (rate of 100 per minute). Then give 2 slow breaths
  3. Repeat. Repeat 15 pumps and 2 breaths 4 times and then check for circulation. If there are still no signs of life, continue with CPR until help arrives or the person takes a spontaneous breath or makes a movement

For children between ages 1-8:

CPR for children is similar to the procedure for adults (as described above). There are, however, three differences:

  1. If you are alone with the child, give one full minute of CPR before calling for help
  2. Give 20 breaths per minute, instead of 10
  3. Use the heel of one hand only for chest compressions, and press down 2,5-4 cm only
  4. Give 1 full breath followed by 5 chest compressions

For infants (up to age 1)

If you are alone with the infant, give one full minute of CPR before calling for help

  1. Shout and gently tap the infant on the shoulder or feet. If there is no response, place the infant on his or her back on a hard surface
  2. Blow. Tilt the head back by lifting the chin. Do not tilt the head too far back. Look, listen and feel for breathing
  3. If the infant is not breathing normally, cover the infant’s mouth and nose with your mouth to create an airtight seal. Give 2 small gentle blows. Each breath should be 1-2 seconds long. You should see the infant’s chest rise with each breath

Then stop and check for circulation. If you cannot achieve effective breaths or there are no signs of circulation, start chest compressions. If signs of circulation are present, continue giving 20 breaths per minute until help arrives. Check for circulation each minute

  1. Pump (only if no signs of circulation). Position your 3rd and 4th fingers in the center of the chest, just below the level of the nipples. Press down only 1-2.5 cm. Give 5 gentle chest compressions at a rate faster than one per second. Repeat with 1 breath and 5 compressions. You should give 100 compressions per minute
  2. Call for help after one minute if you are alone

Listen, look, and feel for breathing

  • Kneel next to the person with your head close to his or her head. Look to see if the person’s chest rises and falls. Listen for any normal breathing sounds (see below). Feel for any air moving in or out the person’s mouth or nose. Do this for up to 10 seconds
  • Sometimes a person in cardiac arrest may make grunting, gasping or snoring type sounds for a few minutes. This abnormal breathing is false reflex breathing. If you hear this type of breathing without any other signs of life, do not delay CPR. The person desperately needs air and only you can provide it

Signs of circulation

Check for breathing, coughing, and any movement in response to mouth-to-mouth breathing. Do so for up to 10 seconds. If there are no such signs, start with chest compressions


  • If there is someone to help you: one person should do chest compressions, while the other does mouth-to-mouth breathing. Stop with chest compressions while breathing is given
  • The only way to tell whether CPR is effective is to see if the chest raises with ventilation and if the chest compression results in a pulse
  • Chest compressions should only be done on someone whose heart has stopped
  • If you suspect that the victim has a spinal injury, only lift the chin. Do not tilt the head back
  • When pushing on the chest, you may hear a cracking sound due to cartilage or ribs cracking. Even if this occurs, the damage is not serious. The risk of delaying CPR or not doing so is far greater than the risk of a broken rib
  • The victim may vomit. If this occurs, turn the head to the side and try to sweep out or wipe off the vomit. Continue with CPR
  • The spread of infection from the victim to the rescuer is very rare. There is no documentation of HIV ever being transmitted via CPR
  • If you are unsure whether you are doing CPR correctly, don’t stop. It is better to perform CPR imperfectly, than not at all
  • If CPR is started within 4 minutes of collapse and defibrillation (a machine which emergency personnel use to shock the heart) provided within 10 minutes, a person has a 40% chance of survival
Information about CPR