Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation or CPR Training Part 3

About how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR, information on breathing, circulation and cardiac arrest.



Artificial circulation is provided by external cardiac compression. In effect, when you apply rhythmic pressure on the lower half of the victim's breastbone, you are forcing his heart to pump blood. To perform external cardiac compression properly, kneel at the victim's side near his chest. Locate the notch at the lowest portion of the sternum. Place the heel of one hand on the sternum 1 1/2 to 2 inches above the notch. Place your other hand on top of the one that is in position. Be sure to keep your fingers off the chest wall. You may find it easier to do this if you interlock your fingers.

Bring your shoulders directly over the victims's sternum as you compress downward, keeping your arms straight. Depress the sternum about 1 1/2 to 2 inches for an adult victim. Then relax pressure on the sternum completely. However, do not remove your hands from the victim's sternum, but do allow the chest to return to its normal position between compressions. Relaxation and compression should be of equal duration.

If you are the only rescuer, you must provide both rescue breathing and cardiac compression. The proper ratio is 15 chest compressions to 2 quick breaths. You must compress at the rate of 80 times per minute when you are working alone since you will stop compressions when you take time to breathe.

When there is another rescuer to help you, position yourselves on opposite sides of the victim if possible. One of you should be responsible for interposing a breath during the relaxation after each fifth compression. The other rescuer, who compresses the chest, should use a rate of 60 compressions per minute.


One 15:2 80 times/min.

Two 5:1 60 times/min.


Basic life support for infants and small children is similar to that for adults. A few important differences to remember are given below.


Be careful when handling an infant that you do not exaggerate the backward position of the head tilt. An infant's neck is so pliable that forceful backward tilting might block breathing passages instead of opening them.


Don't try to pinch off the nose. Cover both the mouth and nose of an infant or small child who is not breathing. Use small breaths with less volume to inflate the lungs. Give one small breath every three seconds.


The absence of a pulse may be more easily determined by feeling over the left nipple.


The technique for cardiac compression is different for infants and small children. In both cases, only one hand is used for compression. The other hand may be slipped under the child to provide a firm support for his back.

For infants, use only the tips of the index and middle fingers to compress the chest at mid-sternum. Depress the sternum between 1/2 to 3/4 inch at a fast rate of 80 to 100 times a minute.

For small children, use only the heel of one hand to compress the chest. Depress the sternum between 3/4 and 1 1/2 inches, depending upon the size of the child. The rate should be 80 to 100 times per minute.

In case of both infants and small children, breaths should be administered during the relaxation after every fifth chest compression.


Infants tips of index and middle fingers mid-sternum 1/2 to 3/4 inch 80 to 100 per minute

Children heel of hand mid-sternum 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches 80 to 100 per minute

Source: "CPR in Basic Life Support," ?? 1977 by the American Heart Association, reproduced with permission.

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