How to do CPR – a reminder


CPR is the most vital of all the first aid techniques you can learn.  CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) is the action you need to take if you discover somebody who has stopped breathing.


Giving a mixture of chest compressions and mouth to mouth breaths can keep the casualty supplied with the vital life-giving oxygen they need to delay the onset of brain death while you are waiting for an ambulance to arrive or somebody with a defibrillator to turn up.

As it’s such a vital skill here’s a short reminder on what you’ll need to do if you ever find somebody passed out and not breathing :

1. Danger – as soon as you arrive on the scene check around for any signs of danger or any hazards that could harm you,  the casualty or any bystanders. Make sure it is safe to approach the casualty.

2. Response – approach the casualty, bend or kneel next to them and try to get a response by calling their name and  shaking their shoulders gently.  Do this as if you are trying to wake them up.

Check for a response by calling out and shaking the casualty gently and calling out to them loudly

3. Shout – if the casualty does not respond then shout out for help. As they have not responded they are unconscious and in urgent need of help, but don’t leave the casualty yet as there are some things you need to do.

4. Airway – with the casualty on their back, open the airway by lifting up the chin and putting your other hand on the forehead to tilt the head back.  This lifts the tongue away from the back of the throat where it can block the airway and cause choking.

Tilt the head back by pushing up chin

5. Breathing – check for breathing by bending down and putting your cheek near their mouth and nose while looking at their chest.  Listen for normal breathing sounds, look for chest movement and feel for regular breath on your cheek. Do this for up to 10 seconds.

Check for breathing by looking, listening and feeling for breath

6. Ring 999- if the casualty is not breathing normally ring 999 (or 112) for an ambulance. If you are alone go and do this yourself. If a passerby or colleague is there tell them to make then call and then return to you. Ask them to bring an AED if there is one available (Automated External Defibrillator)

Ring 999 for an ambulance

7. Give chest compressions – press down on the centre of the chest with both hands 30 times.  You’ll need to press down firmly approx 5 to 6 cm, and quite quickly as well – at a rate of 100 to 120 per minute (that’s about twice per second)

Give 30 chest compressions

8. Give 2 breaths-  pinch the nose, make sure the head is still tilted back so the airway is open, and give 2 mouth to mouth breaths.  Use a disposable face shield if you have one. You should see the chest rise and fall with each breath.

Give two breaths

9. Keep giving chest compressions and breaths – repeat steps 7 and 8. Give cycles of 30 chest compressions and 2 breaths continuously whilst waiting for the ambulance or a person with an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) to arrive.

Remember nothing can replace going on a course and having a hands-on practice with a proper CPR dummy under the guidance of a professional instructor. All our first aid courses cover CPR

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