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First Aid 

CPR, AED, and Rescue Breathing

CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and involves emergency chest compressions that allow the heart to continue to pump blood to the brain and the rest of the body. When the heart stops, blood no longer flows, which can cause brain damage within a matter of minutes. To administer CPR on an adult or child older than 1 year, take the following steps:

  1. Call for emergency medical help, lay the person flat on his or her back, and check the person’s radial or carotid pulse to see if his or her heart is still beating. At the same time, monitor the person’s breathing by listening to his or her mouth and seeing if the chest rises and falls. 

  2. If there is no pulse and no breath sound, place one hand interlocked with the other on the center of the person’s chest directly in between the nipples. 

  3. Press down over and over approximately 2 inches deep but no more than 2.4 inches deep at a rate of at least 100 beats per minute. 

  4. After 30 chest compressions, tilt the person’s head back to open the airway and give two consecutive rescue breaths by placing your mouth fully and directly over their mouth and watching the chest rise and fall. 

  5. If available, use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED - see below). 

  6. Continue this process until the individual becomes responsive or until emergency medical help arrives and takes over. 

To administer CPR to an infant less than 1 year, take the following steps:

  1. Call for emergency medical help, lay the infant flat on its back, and check the infant’s brachial pulse to see if its heart is still beating. At the same time, monitor the infant’s breathing by listening to its mouth and seeing if its chest rises and falls. 

  2. With 2 fingers, press down on the center of the infant’s chest in between the nipples over and over at a depth of 1.5 inches and at a rate of at least 100 beats per minute. 

  3. After 30 chest compressions, open the infant’s airway by tilting the head back, and give 2 consecutive rescue breaths by placing your mouth fully over the infant’s mouth, watching the chest rise and fall. 

  4. If available, use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator). 

  5. Continue this process until the infant becomes responsive or until emergency medical professionals take over. 

For further CPR instruction, watch the videos below…

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a device that sends an electrical shock through the heart to try and get it beating normally again. AEDs are found in many public spaces. For instructions on how to use an AED, watch the video below.

For further instruction, you may also take a certification class in CPR/AED and rescue breathing.

Resources

Austin, M., Crawford, R., & Armstrong, V. J. (2014). First aid manual. (G. M. Piazza, Ed.) (5th ed.). DK Publishing. https://kuiyem.ku.edu.tr/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/American-College-of-Emergency-Physicians-ACEP-First-Aid-Manual.pdf.

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2021, May 1). Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR): First aid. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-cpr/basics/art-20056600.