Immediate, lifesaving CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is necessary if someone collapses in cardiac arrest. In an emergency, anyone can perform CPR if properly trained.
At Dignity Health Southern California, our caring doctors are experts in all aspects of heart care, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation, in Long Beach, Northridge, Downtown LA, Glendale, and San Bernardino. Use our online Find a Doctor tool to learn more about our state-of-the-art facilities, coordinated health care teams, and expansive cardiovascular services.
How to Perform CPR for Adults & Teens
If you have to perform CPR, it is normal to feel nervous. You can opt for hands-only CPR without rescue breathing if that is more comfortable for you.
The basic steps of hands-only adult and teen CPR are:
- Try to evoke a response by addressing the person loudly and/or rubbing his or her sternum (breastbone) hard.
- Check for breathing and a pulse.
- If the person has no pulse and is not breathing, call 911 or have someone else call.
- Ask someone to call for or bring an automated external defibrillator device (AED). Don’t delay starting CPR to search for an AED.
- Start CPR — place one hand on top of the other and interlace your fingers.
- Place your hands on top of the sternum in the center of the chest and lock your elbows.
- Press down very hard. The chest should depress by at least one inch with each compression.
- Push hard and fast, at least 100 times per minute. Don’t stop.
- Perform chest compressions until emergency responders relieve you.
How to Perform CPR for Infants and Children
For infants, generally younger than one year of age:
- Turn the unresponsive baby on his or her back and tilt the head to open the airway.
- Place two fingers on the breastbone (avoiding the tip) and begin pushing hard and fast.
- If the baby remains unresponsive after two minutes, call 911, if someone with you hasn’t called already.
- If the baby isn’t breathing, provide two rescue breaths.
- Resume compressions until help arrives.
- Follow the steps for adult CPR, but use one hand to avoid injuring the child.
- If you aren’t able to perform deep enough chest compressions with one hand, use both hands.
Recovery After Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
After you have performed CPR, you may feel overwhelmed. All of these emotional and physical reactions are common:
If you have received CPR, you may also feel strong emotions, including guilt, remorse, or sorrow. You may also feel sore physically. Any physical discomfort should pass quickly.
If you are struggling with feelings about giving or receiving CPR, your doctor can offer effective resources, such as talk therapy, to help you feel better.
CPR can save someone’s life. Talk to a doctor at Dignity Health Southern California to learn more about CPR or where you can receive training.
Dignity Health doctors and staff offer expertise in all matters of the heart, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), in Southern California.