To perform CPR, rescuers should:

  • Ensure the scene is safe, put on gloves, and prepare to rescue. A rescue mask with a one-way valve should be used if available
  • Call out to the victim to check responsiveness
  • If the victim doesn’t respond, place a hand on the forehead and tap on the collarbone while asking if he/she can hear you
  • If the victim is still not responding, activate the EMS, call 911, or call a code (a bystander can be asked to call 911)

Once the EMS has been notified, the patient assessment should be continued by:

  • Looking for signs of normal breathing and a carotid pulse. Normal breathing means there is chest rise and fall with each breath, not agonal respirations.
  • Use the fingertips of the index and middle fingers to press at the location of the carotid artery to check for a pulse for no more than 10 seconds.

If the patient is not breathing normally, does not have a pulse, and is unresponsive, start CPR.

  • Place the heel of one hand on the lower third of the sternum and the other hand on top of the first hand.
  • Give compressions 2-2.4 inches deep.
  • Compress at a rate of 100-120 compressions a minute, or two per second.
  • Allow for full recoil by coming back up to a neutral position before doing the next compression.
  • Compress with the upper body directly over the patient with elbows locked, using the upper body weight to compress.
  • After the first 30 compressions, place the rescue mask over the mouth and nose, give a head-tilt-chin-lift, and give two breaths. Watch the chest rise and fall.
  • Continue cycles of 30 compressions and two breaths until help arrives, an AED arrives, or the patient begins responding and breathing normally.