How to administer CPR

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To administer CPR, follow these steps:
  1. Check the scene for safety and form an initial impression. Use personal protective equipment (PPE) if available.
  2. Check for responsiveness, breathing, life-threatening bleeding, or other life-threatening conditions using shout-tap-shout.
  3. If the person does not respond and is not breathing or only gasping, call 9-1-1 and get equipment, or tell someone to do so.
  4. Kneel beside the person and place them on their back on a firm, flat surface.
  5. Give 30 chest compressions:
    • Hand position: Two hands centered on the chest
    • Body position: Shoulders directly over hands; elbows locked
    • Depth: At least 2 inches
    • Rate: 100 to 120 per minute
    • Allow the chest to return to normal position after each compression
  6. Give 2 breaths:
    • Open the airway using the head-tilt/chin-lift technique
    • Pinch the nose shut, take a normal breath, and make a complete seal over the person’s mouth with your mouth
    • Ensure each breath lasts about 1 second and makes the chest rise; allow air to exit before giving the next breath
  7. Continue giving sets of 30 chest compressions and 2 breaths. Use an AED as soon as one is available. Minimize interruptions to chest compressions to less than 10 seconds.
It is important to take a CPR class to be prepared for emergencies. The American Red Cross offers CPR classes and certification.
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