Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving skill that everyone should have some fundamental knowledge of. Not knowing the proper techniques can be dangerous — and even fatal in some cases. Luckily, there are just seven steps to CPR that might help you save a life.
While we highly recommend taking a basic CPR course to get thorough training on handling various emergency situations like choking, drowning, and cardiac arrest, having a basic understanding of CPR is better than nothing when someone’s life is on the line.
Anyone can learn how to administer critical care in an emergency situation. Here’s why CPR is so important to learn, as well as seven easy steps to CPR so that you can start learning today.
What Is CPR & Why Should You Learn It
CPR is a life-saving technique used in emergency situations such as cardiac arrests, drowning, or choking. This technique involves applying chest compressions and performing rescue breaths to ensure the flow of oxygen to the brain and vital organs. Learning CPR can make all the difference in saving someone’s life, even if you aren’t a medical professional.
You never know when a situation may arise where someone needs immediate help. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 out of 10 cardiac arrests happen at home. By knowing how to perform just seven steps to CPR, you could potentially save a family member, friend, or even a stranger’s life.
7 Easy, Life-Saving Steps to CPR
In an emergency, your mind is racing, and odds are, you’ll struggle to perfectly remember the seven steps to CPR. We’d suggest keeping a photo of these steps on your phone or in your wallet. Here are seven easy but life-saving steps to CPR.
- Check the scene for safety. Before starting CPR, make sure that the area around you is safe for both you and the victim.
- Check for responsiveness. Tap the victim’s shoulder to check if he or she is responsive. If the victim does not respond, shout for help and call emergency services.
- Check for breathing. Carefully tilt the victim’s head back and check for breathing by placing your ear close to the victim’s mouth and nose. If the victim is not breathing or is gasping for air, start CPR immediately.
- Open the airway. Once you have determined that the victim is unresponsive, slowly tilt their head back and lift their chin to open their airway.
- Begin chest compressions. Kneel beside the victim, place the heel of one hand on the center of the victim’s chest and the other hand on top, interlacing your fingers. Lean over the victim, keep your arms straight, and press down on the chest about two inches. Continue at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute.
- Perform rescue breaths. After 30 compressions, give two rescue breaths by tilting the victim’s head back again and lifting their chin. Pinch the victim’s nose shut, and seal your mouth around theirs. Blow into their mouth for about one second, until you see their chest rise.
- Continue CPR. Cycle between chest compressions and rescue breaths until emergency medical personnel arrive or the victim starts to show signs of movement. Do not stop CPR unless you are relieved by trained medical personnel or the victim starts to move.
Remember, performing the steps to CPR can be physically demanding, so switch with another person if you’re feeling fatigued. Further, reading about CPR does not replace hands-on experience. Although it’s essential to know these seven steps to CPR, you should also enroll in a course that includes a hands-on component to get a feel for the technique.
3 Ways to Ensure You’re Performing CPR Correctly
It’s easy to get distracted in the moment when your adrenaline is rushing and someone’s life is literally in your hands. But proper administration is essential for keeping the victim alive until medical professionals arrive on the scene. Here are three things to keep in mind to ensure you’re correctly performing the seven steps to CPR.
1. Position the Victim Properly
Before you even begin performing the steps to CPR with chest compressions and rescue breathing, it’s crucial to position the person correctly. First and foremost, place the person on their back on a firm and flat surface. This ensures that the chest compressions are effective and reach the heart.
Second, tilt the person’s head back slightly to open their airway. This also helps to clear any obstruction that might be blocking their airway. Remember, correct positioning is essential for the efficient delivery of oxygenated blood to the brain and vital organs.
2. Push Hard & Fast on the Center of the Chest
Pushing hard and fast on the center of the chest is a crucial step in performing effective CPR. The reason for this is because the pressure applied to the chest can help circulate blood, which is vital when someone’s heart has stopped.
By following the American Heart Association’s recommended rate of 100-120 compressions per minute, you can maximize the chances of the person’s survival.
3. Check for a Pulse
Knowing how to check for a pulse and perform rescue breaths can be one of the most crucial steps to CPR in a life-threatening situation. When someone is unresponsive and not breathing, you want to first check for a pulse by placing two fingers on the side of the neck, just below the jawline, and feeling for a steady beat.
If a pulse is present, you’re safe to begin rescue breaths by tilting the head back and lifting the chin.
It’s important to remember that CPR can be physically challenging, but by staying focused, pushing through that fatigue, and maintaining the necessary pace, you can make a significant difference in someone’s life.
Songs to Help You Perform the Steps to CPR
One of the most challenging parts of performing the steps to CPR can be maintaining the correct compression rhythm without the help of a metronome or music. That’s where songs with a good beats-per-minute (BPM) come in handy.
Research suggests that music with a BPM between 100-120 is ideal for performing the steps to CPR, as it provides the correct pace for chest compressions. Some popular songs that fall within this BPM range include “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees, “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, and “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé.
Having a playlist of these songs on hand can make all the difference in performing effective CPR and potentially saving a life. Plus, music can help alleviate some of the pressure you’re probably feeling in the moment.
Knowing When to End Resuscitation Attempts
Knowing when to end resuscitation attempts can be a difficult decision to make, but it’s an important one to consider. In certain situations, continuing resuscitation attempts may not be medically beneficial and going through with performing the steps to CPR could result in further harm to the patient.
Some factors to consider when contemplating ending resuscitation include the patient’s age, medical history, response to resuscitative efforts, and the length of time since the cardiac event. It’s essential to work closely with medical professionals to determine the best course of action for the patient’s well-being.
Remember that making the decision to end resuscitation should never be taken lightly, but rather with careful consideration and compassion for the patient and their loved ones.
Knowing the Steps to CPR Could Help Save a Life
It’s a simple skill, but knowing the steps to CPR is a fundamental life-saving tool that everyone should have in their toolbox. And although this blog post provides a clear and concise overview of the basics of CPR, regular training is essential for maintaining the proper technique and confidence to perform CPR at a moment’s notice in an emergency.
Renewing your certification when needed is an important aspect in staying up-to-date on current CPR techniques, so make sure to check in with your local authority or certifying body for more comprehensive guidance when necessary.
Our goal is that these seven easy steps to CPR will serve as an impetus for people getting certified in CPR. Contact us today to learn more about how ProTrainings can help you make getting CPR certified easier and more efficient.