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Lay Person Cpr On Adults


Lay person cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

is an emergency procedure performed by a person who is not a trained healthcare worker. An adult may need CPR because his heart stopped beating or he stopped breathing. This may be due to an accident, injury, or medical condition, such as a heart attack or stroke. CPR may combine chest compressions with rescue breathing or may be done only with chest compressions. A chest compression is when you put pressure on and off the person's chest. Rescue breathing means you give breaths to the person through his mouth.

If you find a person who is not breathing normally:

  • Call 911 immediately, or send someone to call for help. Call 911 before you start CPR. The faster help arrives, the greater the chance the person will live. Stay on the telephone with the 911 operator until he tells you to hang up.
  • Make sure the area is safe to enter, and approach the person. Move him only if the area is dangerous, such as in a fire. Tap the person's shoulder. Ask loudly, "Are you okay?"
  • Kneel beside him. Look to see if his head, neck, or back may be hurt. Carefully turn the person onto his back while you support his head and neck. Keep the person's body straight as you turn him onto his back.
  • Begin CPR if the person is not breathing or is only gasping. Continue CPR until the person responds, help arrives, or an automated external defibrillator (AED) becomes available. If there are 2 people that can help with CPR, 1 person should start CPR, and 1 person should get an AED. An AED is a device that gives a person's heart a shock if it is needed. AEDs are often kept in public areas and are usually mounted to a wall.

How to give CPR:

Chest compressions press the heart between the spine and sternum (breastbone). This forces blood out of the heart and to the person's brain and body. The following is an overview of the 2 main CPR methods:

  • Compression-only method: You can do chest compressions without giving rescue breaths. Chest compressions alone make it more likely that the person will live than if you do nothing at all. Do chest compressions until the person responds, help arrives, or an AED becomes available.
  • C-A-B method: This method combines C hest compressions, A irway opening, and rescue B reathing. You should only use this method if you have had CPR training. First do 30 chest compressions. Then open the person's airway. Hold the airway open and give 2 breaths into the person's mouth, called rescue breaths. Repeat a pattern of 30 chest compressions and 2 rescue breaths until the person responds, help arrives, or an AED becomes available.

To do chest compressions:

  • Kneel beside the person's chest. Put one of your hands on top of the other. Put the heel of your bottom hand where the person's ribs meet in the middle of his chest, between the nipples. This area is called the sternum. Point your fingers up, and keep them off the person's chest. Do not lay your fingers on the chest, because you may do compressions in the wrong place. Incorrect hand positioning can break the ribs during compressions.
  • Lock your elbows with your arms straight. Your shoulders should be directly over the center of the person's chest. Look down at your hands.

  • Press straight down on the sternum at least 2 inches (5 centimeters). Do not push your hands forward when you press down. Go only up and down. The compressions should be constant and equal. This means that it should take the same amount of time to press down as it does to go back up. Allow the chest to relax completely between compressions. This allows blood to come back into the heart before you compress again. Leave your hands on the person's chest in the correct hand position between compressions.
  • Do 30 chest compressions at a rate of at least 100 to 120 every minute (2 per second). Push hard and push fast. Hard, fast compressions are more likely to keep the person's brain and heart alive. Count the compressions out loud to help you do them at a steady, even speed.

To open the person's airway:

  • Put 1 hand on the person's forehead and press firmly backward to tilt his head back. Do not place your hand on the back of his neck to tilt his head.
  • Lift the person's chin with your other hand. Hold his mouth open. Do not press deeply into the soft tissue under the person's chin, because this can close his airway.

  • Look into the person's mouth for something that may be blocking his airway at the back of his throat. If you see something that looks easy to get, carefully scoop it out with your finger.

To give rescue breaths:

  • Gently pinch the person's nose closed. This stops air from escaping through the nose. Take a deep breath and put your lips around the person's mouth, making an airtight seal.

  • Give 2 breaths (1 second for each breath) into the person's mouth. Do not give large breaths. Do not breathe hard or fast. Take a normal breath for yourself after each breath that you give.
  • The person's chest will rise each time you give a rescue breath if his airway is open. You may need to change his head position to reopen his airway. If you still cannot get air in, the airway may be blocked by food or another object. Look again to see if you find an object you can remove.
  • Do not stop chest compressions for more than 10 seconds to deliver 2 breaths.

How to use an AED:

The following are general directions for AED use. Follow the step-by-step directions that may be found on or inside the AED. Do not remove an AED from its storage case unless you intend to use it. Remove all clothing from the person's chest before you open the AED.

AED (Automatic External Defibrillator)
  • Open the AED: There may be a latch on one or both sides of the device to open it.
  • Find the electrode pads: You may need to pull a handle or open or unwrap the pads. The pads may be attached to the device by thin wires. Do not detach the pads from the device.
  • Prepare the pads: Electrode pads may have a sticky side that sticks to the person's chest. You may need to remove paper backing from the pads to expose the sticky side before they can be used.
  • Prepare the person: Remove any medicine patches on the person's chest and wipe the skin. Move the person out of water if needed. Wipe any water, sweat, or blood off his chest. The skin must be dry before you apply the pads.
  • Apply the pads: Do not stick a pad right over an implanted medical device. Place one pad on either the left or right side of the upper chest, toward the middle and below the clavicle (collarbone). Place the other pad on the opposite side, just below and to the side of the breast. You may also place a pad on each side of the ribcage, just below and to the outside of the breasts.
  • Turn on the AED: The on button or switch should be clearly marked. The AED will tell you what to do next. If the AED tells you to shock, press the flashing red light. Do not touch the person when the AED analyzes or delivers a shock. If no shock should be given, the AED will tell you to continue CPR.
  • Continue CPR: Give CPR again immediately after you give a shock or the AED is done analyzing. Continue CPR until the person responds or help arrives. Stop CPR only to let the AED analyze.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.