Basics of CPR

To perform CPR, remember the basic steps of CPR administration called CAB

C for compressions, A for airway and B for breathing


External chest compressions provide artificial circulation. When you apply rhythmic pressure on the lower half of the victim's breastbone, you force the heart to pump blood.

To do external chest compression properly, follow the steps below:
1. Kneel beside the victim's chest. With the middle and index fingers of your hand find the notch where the bottom rims of the two halves of the rib cages meet in the middle of the chest.
2. Put the heel of one hand on the sternum (breastbone) next to the fingers that found the notch. Put your other hand on top of the hand that's in position. Be sure to keep your fingers up off the chest wall. It may be easier to do this if you interlock your fingers.
3. Bring your shoulders directly over the victim's sternum and press down, keeping your arms straight. Depress the sternum at least 2 inches. Then completely relax the pressure on the sternum. Do not remove your hands from the victim's sternum, but do let the chest rise to its normal position between compressions.
4. Relaxation and compression should take equal amounts of time. If you must give both rescue breathing and external chest compressions, the proper rate is 30 chest compressions to 2 breaths. You must compress at a rate of 100 times per minute. Keep interruptions to less than few seconds. Continue administration until help arrives.

As of October of 2010, AHA has revised its guidelines for performing effective CPR. If the person is not confident in his/her abilities of performing CPR, you should at minimum call 911 if help is not available and perform external chest compressions without mouth-to-mouth breathing. Continue performing compressions until emergency services arrive with Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Based on the recent studies, external compressions can be as effective as combinations of compressions and mouth-to-mouth.