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What are the steps for performing CPR?

The steps for performing CPR are easy:

  1. Assess the scene for safety
  2. Assess the victim for responsiveness and breathing
  3. Alert 911 and ask someone to bring an AED
  4. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest

Who should be trained in CPR?

The short answer is “everyone”. Every member of our society today has a reason for being trained in CPR and First Aid. CSRE offers Community Courses, focused on the general population, Workforce education, targeted at industry and the commercial workforce, and Healthcare provider BLS and ECC (ACLS & PALS) courses.

We have classes for everyone, and everyone is welcome at CSRE to learn how to save a life!

When should CPR be performed?

CPR should be performed when someone is not responsive and not breathing, or is not breathing normally. CPR can be summarized as pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest. An unresponsive person does not blink or move when you shout at them or tap them firmly on the shoulder.

How long should chest compressions be performed for during CPR?

Chest compressions should continue until:

  • The person responds in some way (begins breathing, coughs, etc)
  • Someone with advanced training (such as a firefighter, paramedic, EMT, nurse, or doctor) arrives
  • You are too exhausted to continue (which is why it’s so important to get help on the way as soon as you can!)

Is mouth-to-mouth resuscitation still necessary when performing CPR?

The short answer is “no”. You are never required to do mouth-to-mouth breaths due to the risk of infection or contamination. It is still a topic covered should you choose to do so, but it is not necessary nor required.

All that is required for CPR to be effective, initially, is to push hard and fast in the center of the chest. If a barrier device, such as face shield or pocket mask, does arrive, then incorporate ventilation into CPR if trained to do so.

What is the ratio of compressions to rescue breaths when performing CPR?

The answer is “it depends”, but only on two things:

  1. Is the patient a child (younger than 8 years of age)
  2. Is there a second rescuer available

If the answer to either is “no” then the ratio is 30:2. When you are alone, for every victim, the ratio is 30:2.

If the answer to both is “yes” then the ratio is 15:2. When the victim is a child or infant, and you have someone else who is trained to help you, you should adopt a compression to ventilation ratio of 15:2. This is because the pediatric patient requires more oxygenation per unit time, and only when there are two rescuers can this be delivered effectively.

What is the proper depth for chest compressions while performing CPR?

While the actual depth measurement changes based on the victim, the general rule is “1/3 the depth of the chest”. As the chest of an adult is larger, this works out to be about 2 – 2.5 inches. As the chest of an infant is small, this works out to be about 1 – 1.5 inches.

How can I become certified in CPR?

CSRE offers Community Courses, focused on the general population, Workforce education, targeted at industry and the commercial workforce, and Healthcare provider BLS and ECC (ACLS & PALS) courses. Please check our course calendar and register for the next class that meets your needs!

What should I do if someone starts breathing while I’m performing CPR?

You should stop CPR and assess the patient. Are they responsive (blinking or moving their head)? Is the breathing regular? If the breathing seems normal, then you may have achieved the Return of Spontaneous Circulation (ROSC). Stay close by and continue to monitor the patient.

How often should I practice my CPR skills?

It is recommended by the AHA RQI Initiative that you practice your CPR skills at least one a quarter, every 3 months, in order to remain proficient with compressions and ventilation. CSRE helps to facilitate this though our “Open Manikin Night” events where all of our prior students, and those certified in the community, are invited into our classrooms for practice and renewal of the confidence to act in an emergency. If you need certification, check out one of our courses.

Is there any danger of doing harm when performing CPR?

You may have heard stories of broken ribs, lacerated livers, or other horrible things from CPR. While it is possible for injuries to occur, it is important to remember that when a victim needs CPR they are technically ‘dead‘. If you can resuscitate them, we can fix injuries sustained in the process. But, at least for now, we cannot fix “dead”; so CPR is the best chance that a victim has for recovery.

Are there any special considerations for performing CPR on a person with a pacemaker or other medical device implanted in their chest?

The most remarkable change is not in CPR but rather in the use of an AED. When using an AED, it is imperative that the pads not be placed on or over an implanted defibrillator or pacemaker. These will often look like a bulge or bump, smaller than a deck of cards, near the right or left shoulder of a patient. You may also notice a scar in these areas, indicating that something was surgically implanted.

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