Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can save the life of someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. CPR takes over the function of a failing heart and continues the circulation of blood to vital organs.
CPR can keep the heart and lungs working, maintain oxygen supply to the brain, and prevent brain damage or death. The procedure involves pushing hard on a person’s chest to squeeze the heart and force blood to flow throughout the body.
Anyone can perform CPR in an emergency — the treatment is not limited to medical professionals.
Are you prepared to take life-saving action in an emergency? Dignity Health North State offers classes on CPR in Northern California. Call (888) 628-1948 for upcoming class dates at St. Elizabeth Community Hospital in Red Bluff, CA.
Learning the Basics of CPR for Adults
It’s normal to be nervous or uncomfortable if you suddenly have to perform CPR. Remember, there is no “wrong” way to do CPR.
Follow these steps for hands-only teen and adult CPR:
- Talk loudly to the person, or rub their breastbone (sternum) forcefully, to get a response.
- Check for a pulse and breathing.
- Call 911 if the person has no pulse.
- Ask someone to bring an automated external defibrillator (AED). Do not delay CPR to search for an AED.
- Place your hands on top of each other and lock your fingers.
- Put your hands in the center of the chest and lock your elbows.
- Press down very hard — chest should compress by at least one inch.
- Push hard and fast. Aim for 100 compressions per minute.
- Continue CPR until emergency responders take over.
Instructions for Child and Infant CPR
CPR steps for babies under the age of one:
- Turn the unresponsive infant onto its back, tilt the head to open the airway.
- Put two fingers on the breastbone and push hard and fact. Avoid the tip of the breastbone, as it can break and cause complications.
- If the baby is unresponsive after two minutes, call 911.
- Provide two rescue breaths if the baby is not breathing
- Resume compressions until emergency help arrives
For child CPR:
- Follow steps for adult CPR, but use only one hand.
- If one hand is not enough for acceptable compressions, use both hands.
Recovering from CPR
Performing CPR may produce an emotional effect. Some people feel overwhelmed by their actions — saving someone’s life. It is normal to be nervous, shaky, or even nauseated while you administer CPR.
You may feel soreness from CPR compressions or the use of an AED device. Any discomfort should go away relatively quickly.
Some may experience sorrow, guilt, or remorse after receiving CPR. Your doctor can refer you to mental health professionals if you are struggling with these feelings.
Our doctors, nurses, and staff are committed to treating the entire person, not just their condition. Take control of your health and Find a Doctor at Dignity Health North State.
Dignity Health North State provides high-quality care, including training in CPR, in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.