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What is CPR?

 CPR is an emergency medical procedure for a victim who is not breathing and does not have a pulse such as victims of cardiac arrest or, in some circumstances, respiratory arrest.

When should you perform CPR?

  • Assess the scene and make sure it is safe for you
  • Call Emergency Medical Services or an ambulance
  • Check the person
  • If the person is conscious, do not perform CPR
  • If the person appears unconscious, tap their shoulders and shout at them to make sure they are not simply zoning out
  • Look and listen for breathing � if the person is breathing normally, do not give rescue breaths. Gasping does not count as normal breathing.
  • Check if the person has a pulse by placing two fingers in the middle and side of the neck. If there is a pulse but no breathing, then only perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
  • Put the person on their back, tilt the head back and lift the chin. This may help to open the airway and resume breathing.

Note � If the person is breathing and has a pulse, they may need choking help or first aid, but NOT CPR. It is important to not perform unnecessary procedures.

 To learn CPR properly, it is essential to attend a live training class. Reading about CPR may not be sufficient to help a victim in an emergency situation. Contact your nearest Red Cross for training


STEP 1.  AIRWAY � Clear the Airway

Lay the person on their back. Tilt the head back by pushing with the flat of your palm on his forehead and lift the chin

If there is a visible blockage in the mouth or at the back of the throat, reach a finger into the mouth and sweep out the object. Be very careful not to push the object deeper into the airway, especially with small children and infants.
cpr3 Check for normal breathing by looking for chest motion, listening to breathing sounds, and feeling for the person�s breath on your cheek or ear.

Gasping does not count as normal breathing.

STEP 2.  CIRCULATION � Perform Chest Compressions

cpr4 If the person is still not breathing or coughing, begin chest pumps.

Place the heel of your palm on the centre of the chest and place the other hand over the first. Keep your elbows straight.

Push down 1.5 to 2 inches in the centre of the chest using your body weight

cpr5 Pump at the rate of 100 per minute

After 30 pumps, give two breaths

STEP 3.  BREATHING � Provide Rescue Breaths.

Pinch the nostril with thumb and index. Make sure nostrils are sealed to prevent air from escaping.

Take a deep breath and place your lips around casualty�s lips. Form a good seal.

Blow steadily for 2sec until the chest rises.

If chest rises, give a second breath.

If chest doesn�t rise, tilt head back and lift chin again and then give the second breath.

After second breath begin pumping again.

Continue the cycle of 30 pumps and 2 breaths till person is conscious, help arrives or it is impossible to continue.

Once the patient�s heart is beating and he able to breathe on his own, place him in the Recovery position but keep on monitoring his breathing and pulse until help arrives as it may stop again at any time.

If at any time the heart stops beating and/or breathing stops � turn patient on to his back and begin CPR again.


  • Tilt the head back � clear the airway
  • 5 rescue breaths � seal mouth over the mouth AND the nostril.
  • Do 30 chest compressions using only the FINGERS followed by 2 breaths.

Important note:

  • For children, the procedure is the same except chest pumping should be done with one hand.
  • For infants, give two gentle puffs of air along with 30 gentle chest compressions using 2-3 fingers.
  • If you are alone with a child or infant, provide CPR immediately for two minutes before calling for emergency help.

Information and images from:
The British Red Cross web site, The BBC Health site,
http://depts.washington.edu/learncpr/index.html,First Aid Manual.