How to give Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) in a medical emergency ?


CPR or the Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is a medical procedure that can be provided as first-aid, in a medical emergency. CPR involves applying external pressure on the heart to make it start beating again. The procedure also involves providing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to restore breathing. Check out this step-by-step guide to CPR.

The Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency medical procedure that is performed on an individual whose heart stops beating. It is considered a primary first-aid manoeuvre in medical emergencies and has a positive success rate. CPR performed on a patient whose heart stops beating can save their life.

CPR is a combination of cardiac compression and resuscitation (mouth-to-mouth).



In case the heart stops beating, it is important to restart its function, as soon as possible. So, provide the patient with repeated CPR, until the heart can take over, on its own and the victim begins to breathe unaided. In an emergency situation, when there is no medical equipment available to you, the best way to get the heart to start beating again is through CPR, which is a manual chest compression given with mouth-to-mouth respiration. During a CPR the rescuer manually presses the chest wall that is present directly over the heart of the victim and also provides breaths. This method allows the artificial pumping of the heart and facilitates recovery.

The method involves the rescuer to place the heel of one hand over the lower half of the sternum, which is the breastbone, protecting the heart. The other hand is placed directly over the first hand. With the elbows locked and the arms kept straight and the shoulders propped directly over the hands the sternum of the victim is pushed down approximately 1.5" – 2". The compression to the heart is 15 every 11 seconds, with a total of 80-100 compressions per minute. To hasten recovery and to help the patient the rescuer can also provide resuscitation in the form of artificial respiration.

It is important to know the correct techniques of providing CPR. The procedure can be used to revive victims who suffer from cardiac arrest, accidents or go into shock due to injuries sustained in fires, causing burns and scalds.

How to provide CPR ?

  • The victim, should be moved onto the floor, as gently and as quickly as possible
  • The victim should be made to lie on their back, with the face up, with their arms placed on their side
  • Next the rescuer gets down on their knees at the victim's left shoulder and places their hands, palms down over the victim's sternum. Make note that the stronger hand must be under the weaker hand. If you are a left-handed individual, the heel of your left palm must be directly on the victim's sternum. Let the fingers of the hand on top grasp the lower hand, entwining them
  • Lean forward, directly above the victim, ensure that your arms are straight and that your shoulders are directly above the victim's sternum
  • Maintain this position and push down on the patient's sternum making it go down roughly 1.5" – 2"
  • Provide 15 compresses, every 11 seconds
  • Press down firmly in swift motion, but do not injure the ribcage
  • After every 15 compresses, give the victim a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, giving two breaths each time


Identifying the right spot on the sternum

Where exactly do you compress on the sternum, could be a dilemma for someone who has no previous experience doing so. It is important that the compresses are given right where the heart is so that the action stimulates the heart. Follow the steps below to identify the right spot to compress during a cardiac compression.

  • Locate the lower end of the rib cage, on the left side of the victim, for that is the side where the heart is
  • Gently dig your first two fingers inwards, till they hit the lower end of the breastbone
  • This is the spot you need to mark. Place an index finger on this spot and place the heel of your string arm on the region, just above the index finger. This is the position you need to maintain for providing cardiac compression
  • Move your other hand over it and interlace your fingers and proceed to provide cardiac compression as illustrated above


CPR for children

Use the same CPR technique for children aged over ten years, unless they are small made. The CPR method for infants and young children differs slightly, as it involves milder thrusts to the chest, and very gentle breaths during resuscitation.

Cardiac compression for babies

Place your middle and index fingers, about two fingers width beneath an imaginary line running between the baby's nipples. Apply chest compression using just two fingers. Give five compresses to one breath.

Cardiac compress for children aged 1-10

For young children follow the same procedure as for infants, but use the heel of one hand instead of two fingers, to provide cardiac compression.

How to provide mouth-to-mouth resuscitation ?

CPR is incomplete without resuscitation. During a medical emergency, when the victim is being resuscitated, their breathing and pulse must be checked every 2 minutes, to see if the breathing and heart have resumed.

  • Clear the airway : The victim's airway must be opened without delay. The tongue of an unconscious person is generally slack, and slides backwards, obstructing the airway. The tongue will have to be removed from the way. Since it is anchored to the lower jaw the best way to lift it from the airway is to move the jaw forward. Doing so will automatically lift the slack tongue and open the airway. If there is vomit, in the victim's mouth act promptly to remove it. The victim could choke on it. Use fingers, covered in a piece of absorbent cloth, to remove fluids in the mouth. Hook out solid food, using your index finger. Do not push it in, the victim could choke.
  • Open the airway : To get the victim's airway open, place one hand on their forehead and push the head backwards, so it tilts backwards. If there is a neck injury then avoid moving the head, except when it is absolutely vital and you need to open the airway. Simultaneously, use your other hand to lift the chin. Do so by placing your fingers under the chin and lifting the chin upwards, so that the chin comes forward. The victim's teeth will be clamped together.
  • Resuscitate : Stay calm, do not panic, this will ensure your breathing remains normal. Use the hand on the victim's forehead to pinch their nose shut. Take a deep breath and hold and instantaneously place your mouth securely over the victim's mouth. Release your breath, with force into the victim's mouth, until you observe their chest rise.
  • Repeat the action : Remove your mouth from the victim's mouth. The victim's inflated lungs will deflate and you will see the chest fall back. Meanwhile you take another deep breath and repeat the procedure.
  • Number matters : Repeat the resuscitation, using full breaths, ensuring 12 breaths a minute, this of course if you are not giving cardiac compression. For children, the number of breaths per minute should be increased to 20, but the breaths would be smaller.
  • Resuscitation of infants : The technique varies a bit when you are resuscitating an infant. Cover the infant's nose and mouth with your mouth. Breathe through your nostrils and fill your mouth with air. Gently release the air into the child. Repeat the same 20 times per minute.




Recovery position

Once the victim's breathing is restored, turn them on their side, in the recovery position. This is the safest position for a casualty as it ensures that the airways do not become obstructed and fluids like saliva, vomit and blood can drain out, without risk of choking.


Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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Comments

Author: Natarajan25 Sep 2017 Member Level: Gold   Points : 5

Very informative article. CPR has saved many lives when done properly. Many times in the eagerness to help, many people crowd around the person in distress hampering meaningful help. There should be some space so that the distressed person gets some air instead of a crowd of people literally suffocating him.

Next, comes the presence of a trained person which is a blessing in disguise, who can handle things until help arrives. If not, then you can call the helpline to get help step by step that can be related to the others actually performing CPR. If no help is nearby, in such desperate times, you can check a CPR video on the mobile internet and give help.

Giving CPR can be tiring and a tired person is not effective, hence keep one back up person to take over ( especially the chest compression). Once a medical team arrives, then hang around to answer questions and what all was done to the patient.

Overzealous CPR can result in bruising, rib fractures and contusions. If a person desperately needs help and someone gives it in time, these minor issues should be excused.



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