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How to do CPR on an Adult

In the CPR world, we use the adult procedure below on people older than 8 years old.

  1. If after shouting the victim’s name and tapping their shoulder they do not respond, lay them on their back face up on a firm, flat surface after calling emergency services.
  2. Kneel next to the victim, place one hand on top of the other in the center of the chest and lace your fingers together. Lock your elbows and keep your shoulders above your hands.
  3. Give 30 chest compressions at a rate of 100-120 per minute. Press hard enough that the chest compresses at least two inches deep but allow the chest to rise fully before the next push.
  4. Remove your hands from the chest and prepare to give two rescue breaths. Open the airway using the head tilt/chin lift method. With one palm on the forehead, and the other lifting the chin, cover the victim’s mouth with your own, ensuring a seal, and exhale a one second breath.
  5. Watch to see if the chest rises and give a second rescue breath.
  6. If the chest does not rise, check the victims airway again with the head tilt/chin lift method and give the second rescue breath.
  7. Reposition your body and give 30 chest compressions.
  8. Repeat the 30-2-30 cycle until the victim breaths on their own, an AED becomes available to use, a trained professional arrives, or you are too exhausted to continue.
CPR hand placement based on age of victim

Before You Begin CPR

  1. Check the scene for safety
  2. Check for responsiveness and breathing
  3. If unresponsive, gasping, or not breathing, call 911 and yell for help
  4. Lay the person face up on a firm, flat surface

Helpful Tips

Stay Calm: If you are untrained and afraid to do CPR, remember it is always better to try than to do nothing, doing something could save someone's life.


Hand Position: Place the heel of one hand on the breastbone in the center of the chest. Place your other hand directly on top and interlace your fingers.


Body Position: Position your shoulders directly over your hands and lock your elbows to keep your arms straight.


Speed: Aim for 100-120 compressions per minute. You can sing the song "Stayin Alive" by the Bee Gees to keep up the proper tempo.


Strength: Press firmly, compress at least two inches down and allow the chest to fully rise before pressing again, keeping your hands flush with the chest.