One of the most important things you will learn in your Basic Life Support (BLS) coursework is how to perform high-quality CPR.
How you respond in the event of an emergency can impact the patient’s survival rate, so it’s critical that you become well-versed in all of the necessary steps.
Whether you’re brand new to the BLS world or you’re old hat and could simply use a refresher, here’s a summary of everything you need to know.
Make sure the environment is safe for the victim as well as yourself and other rescuers.
Recognition of Cardiac Arrest
- Check for responsiveness.
- Tap the victim and ask if he or she is ok.
- Look for lack of breathing or lack of normal breathing (i.e. gasping for air).
- Also check for pulse for less than 10 seconds.
- Checking for breathing and pulse can be performed simultaneously.
Activation of Emergency Response System
For adult victims:
If you are alone or do not have access to a mobile phone, leave the victim to activate emergency response (i.e. call 911) and get the AED before administering CPR.
If you are not alone, send someone to call for help and begin CPR immediately. Use the AED as soon as it becomes available.
For infants and children:
If you witnessed the victim collapse, follow the same steps as above.
If you did not witness the collapse, perform CPR for 2 minutes and then leave the victim to activate the emergency response system and obtain the AED.
Return to the infant or child and resume CPR, and then use the AED as soon as it becomes available.
Compression-Ventilation Ratio without Advanced Airway
For adults, with 1 or 2 rescuers:
30 compressions – 2 breaths
For infants or children with 1 rescuer:
30 compressions – 2 breaths
For infants or children with 2 or more rescuers:
15 compressions – 2 breaths
Compression-Ventilation Ratio with Advanced Airway
For adults, children and infants:
Perform continuous compressions at a rate of 100-120/minute
Give 1 breath every 6 seconds (10 breaths/minute)
At least 2 inches (5 cm)*
At least one-third AP diameter of chest; About 2 inches (5 cm)
At least one-third AP diameter of chest; About 1 1⁄2 inches (4 cm)
2 hands on the lower half of the breastbone (sternum)
2 hands or 1 hand (optional for very small child) on the lower half of the breastbone (sternum)
1 Rescuer: 2 fingers in the center of the chest, just below the nipple line.
2 or More Rescuers: 2 thumb–encircling hands in the center of the chest, just below the nipple line.
Allow complete recoil of chest following each compression. Do not lean on the chest after each compression.
And, finally, always minimize interruptions in chest compressions to fewer than 10 seconds.
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations!
You’ve just successfully studied how to deliver high-quality CPR as a BLS provider.
Feel free to bookmark this page for your reference or print it out to study in preparation for your BLS certification exam.
And, as always, best of luck!
Ready to get started? Click here to launch your online BLS course today!
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