How to Perform Adult CPR

Adult Resuscitation

Use DRABC to remember the primary assessment sequence.

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

We need a constant supply of oxygen to survive. If our brain cells do not get oxygen they can start to die within 3 to 4 minutes. CPR can help ensure oxygen gets into the blood and that the blood carries it to the brain.

Resuscitation Guidelines

If you are trained and able, you should give rescue breaths during CPR. If, however, you are not trained or unable to give rescue breaths, giving chest compressions only is better than doing nothing at all.

  • 100-120 Compressions

    per minute

  • 5-6cm Depth

    for an adult

  • 1 Second Rescue Breaths

    at a ratio of 30:2

Skill Performance

Call 112 and send for a defibrillator. Kneel at the side of the casualty and begin chest compressions:

  • 1Place heel of one hand in centre of chest and interlock both hands.
  • 2Keep arms straight and position yourself vertically above the casualty.
  • 3Press down on the sternum to a depth of 5-6cm, then completely release.
  • 4Provide 30 chest compressions at a rate of 100-120 per minute.
  • 5After 30 compressions, open airway and give 2 rescue breaths.
  • 6Seal lips around mouth of casualty, pinch their nose closed and breathe in steadily for 1 second.
  • 7 Perform 2 rescue breaths and return immediately to providing CPR.
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Common Barriers to Action

"Imperfect care given is better than perfect care withheld."

Nervousness or anxiousness

A perfectly normal reaction when dealing with medical emergencies. However you must trust your training. When you follow the priorities of care as outlined during your course you are giving the casualty the best possible chance of survival.

Guilt if there is not a positive outcome

Some may hesitate when thinking about how they may feel if the casualty does not recover after delivering first aid. There is no guarantee that a casualty will live or reciver but be confident that what you offer has the potential to make a difference.

Fear of imperfect performance

People hesitate thinking they can not properly help an injured or ill casualty. It is seldom true that the smallest of errors will hurt or kill a casualty. If you focus on perfection you´ll have the tendancy to do nothing at all.

Fear of making a casualty worse

The most serious medical emergency is when a casualty is not responsive and not breathing. Some people fear they may make them worse, however it is not possible to make someone worse who is already in the worst state of health.

Fear of infection

Some people fear being infected by the person they are assisting. Research has shown that the chance of this happening by performing CPR is very low and in any case you may use barriers to minimise the risk of disease transmission.

Responsibility concerns

People are afraid of helping because of the fear of being sued. In most regions of the world there are accepted legal doctrines and laws that have been put in place to encourage people to come to the aid of others.

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