CPR Steps

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can help save a life during a cardiac or breathing emergency. However, even after training, remembering the CPR steps and administering them correctly can be a challenge. In order to help you help someone in need, we've created this simple step-by-step guide that you can print up and place on your refrigerator, in your car, in your bag or at your desk.

Before Giving CPR

1

Check the scene and the person. Make sure the scene is safe, then tap the person on the shoulder and shout "Are you OK?" to ensure that the person needs help.


2

Call 911 for assistance. If it's evident that the person needs help, call (or ask a bystander to call) 911, then send someone to get an AED. (If an AED is unavailable, or a there is no bystander to access it, stay with the victim, call 911 and begin administering assistance.)


3

Open the airway. With the person lying on his or her back, tilt the head back slightly to lift the chin.


4

Check for breathing. Listen carefully, for no more than 10 seconds, for sounds of breathing. (Occasional gasping sounds do not equate to breathing.) If there is no breathing begin CPR.

Red Cross CPR Steps

1

CPush hard, push fast. Place your hands, one on top of the other, in the middle of the chest. Use your body weight to help you administer compressions that are at least 2 inches deep and delivered at a rate of at least 100 compressions per minute.


2

Deliver rescue breaths. With the person's head tilted back slightly and the chin lifted, pinch the nose shut and place your mouth over the person's mouth to make a complete seal. Blow into the person's mouth to make the chest rise. Deliver two rescue breaths, then continue compressions.

Note: If the chest does not rise with the initial rescue breath, re-tilt the head before delivering the second breath. If the chest doesn't rise with the second breath, the person may be choking. After each subsequent set of 100 chest compressions, and before attempting breaths, look for an object and, if seen, remove it.


3

Continue CPR steps. Keep performing cycles of chest compressions and breathing until the person exhibits signs of life, such as breathing, an AED becomes available, or EMS or a trained medical responder arrives on scene.

Note: End the cycles if the scene becomes unsafe or you cannot continue performing CPR due to exhaustion.

To see the steps to perform CPR in action, watch our video Putting it All Together: CPR – Adult. Or, for online, in person and blended training courses, visit our CPR Training Page.