Topic Overview

The American Heart
Association recommends taking a class on how to give CPR and then use the chart below as a reference.

CPR Basics
What to do Recommendations for:
Adults and older children who have reached
puberty
Young children until the age of
puberty
Babies younger than 1 year

When to call for emergency
help

Call 911 before starting
CPR and get an AED, if there is one nearby.

Do CPR for 2 minutes. Then call 911 and get an AED, if there is one nearby.

Do CPR for 2 minutes. Then call 911 and get an AED, if there is one nearby.

If the person is not
breathing normally or is
gasping, find the spot to
do chest compressions.

Place two fingers on
the spot where the ribs
come together. Put the
heel of your other hand
just above your fingers
on the breastbone.

(See a picture of
hand placement for chest compressions.)

Place two fingers on
the spot where the ribs
come together. Put the
heel of your other hand
just above your fingers
on the breastbone.

Place two fingers on
the breastbone just
below the nipple line.

(See a picture of
hand placement for chest compressions on a baby.)

How do you give chest
compressions?

Use the heel of one hand with the
other hand stacked on top of it. Lace your fingers together.

Use the heel of one hand. If you
need more force for a larger child, use both hands as you would for an
adult.

Use two fingers.

How fast should you do
compressions?

Do at least 100 compressions
per minute (between
1 and 2 per second).

Do at least 100 compressions
per minute (between
1 and 2 per second).

Do at least 100 compressions
per minute (between
1 and 2 per second).

How far down should you press the
chest?

Press the chest down at least 2 inches (5 cm).

Press the chest down at least one-third of the depth of the child’s chest [about 2 in. (5 cm)].

Press the chest down at least one-third of the depth of the baby’s chest [about 1.5 in. (4 cm)].

If you are trained in
CPR, how
many compressions
and breaths do you
give?

Note: Rescue breathing
may be more important
to do for children and
babies than for adults.

30 compressions, 2 breaths. Repeat this 30/2 cycle until help arrives or person
breathes on his or her own.

30 compressions, 2 breaths. Repeat this 30/2 cycle until help arrives or child
breathes on his or her own.

30 compressions, 2 breaths. Repeat this 30/2 cycle until help arrives or baby
breathes on his or her own.

(See a picture of
rescue breathing for babies.)

Using an automated external defibrillator (AED)

Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are machines that are
programmed to safely deliver an electrical shock to a person who has collapsed
from a heart problem. Each AED has instructions for that machine.

AEDs are in many public places. Before you use an AED, follow all the steps for CPR. To use an AED, place it next to the person who has collapsed and turn it on. The AED has a computer inside that will tell you what to do next.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP – Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD – Family Medicine

Current as ofMarch 20, 2017