CPR Basics

By Tonka Dobreva 09.20.2015 interact

CPR — an acronym for cardiopulmonary resuscitation — is a life-saving technique used during an emergency when a person’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped.


The Basics of CPR

It’s important to remember that in a case of emergency, the first thing to always do is to call 911. 

These are the basics steps that the National Institute of Health lists as essential to performing CPR:

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 2.51.27 PM

1. Check for responsiveness. Shake or tap the person gently. See if the person moves or makes a noise. Shout, “Are you OK?”

2. Call 911 if there is no response. Shout for help and send someone to call 911. If you are alone, call 911 and retrieve an automated external defibrillator (AED) if one is available, even if you have to leave the person.

3. Carefully place the person on their back. If there is a chance the person has a spinal injury, two people should move the person to prevent the head and neck from twisting.

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 2.53.50 PM4. Perform chest compressions:

  • Place the heel of one hand on the breastbone – just below the nipples.
  • Place the heel of your other hand on top of the first hand.
  • Position your body directly over your hands.
  • Give 30 chest compressions. These compressions should be FAST and hard. Press down about 2 inches into the chest. Each time, let the chest rise completely. Count the 30 compressions quickly: “1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30, off.”


 Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 2.55.57 PM5. Open the airway. Lift up the chin with 2 fingers. At the same time, push down on the forehead with the other hand.

6. Look, listen, and feel for breathing. Place your ear close to the person’s mouth and nose. Watch for chest movement. Feel for breath on your cheek.

7. If the person is not breathing or has trouble breathing:

  • Cover the person’s mouth tightly with your mouth.
  • Pinch the nose closed.
  • Keep the chin lifted and head tilted.
  • Give 2 breaths. Each breath should take about a second and make the chest rise.


Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 2.58.48 PM8. Continue CPR (30 chest compressions followed by 2 breaths, then repeat) until the person recovers or help arrives. If an AED for adults is available, use it as soon as possible.

If the person starts breathing again, place them in the recovery position. Periodically re-check for breathing until help arrives.



And here is a video, courtesy of the American Heart Association, which shows you Hands-Only CPR in action:

Information and image source: US National Library of Medicine; A.D.A.M., Inc


  1. aclack

    I think that if we learn CPR we will have less of a chance of being worried of choking. We would be able to not stand by everywhere in the school.

  2. Tia villanueva

    I love that we can save lifes

  3. Tia villanueva

    I love that we can save lifes, but what about everything else

  4. orion

    yes because it can teach us before we grow up

  5. Orion


  6. Orion

    Yes because it is very important for CPR!!

  7. pizzagirl

    Well what about the mouth cpr? i already learened that one but its still cool!

  8. Lily Holshoe

    I think that CPR is a very important skill to know. CPR should be requiered in order to graduate high school, because it could save many lives. You can never know when it will come in handy!

  9. Personal Person

    I say lol! lol

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