Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation is also known as mouth to mouth and chest compressions.

The first thing to check is that the patient is NOT breathing normally.


What is normal breathing?

Normal breathing for an adult is between 12-20 breaths per minute. A breath consists of inspiration, exhalation and a pause.

Agonal breathing is where the body is continuing to move muscles as it has done since birth, but actually is not breathing. This is because there is no air movement, and is usually something that happens when the person has not been breathing for some time.

If you are in doubt, call 999 and start CPR!


How do I do CPR?

The main thing to remember is that the chest compressions are the most important part. You do not need to give mouth to mouth if you don’t want to!


Chest compressions;

  • Should be 5-6cm in depth
  • In the middle of the chest, in line with the bottom of the arm pits
  • At a rate of 100-120 per minute


Mouth to Mouth;

  • Re-open the airway
  • Seal your mouth around theirs
  • Give a one second breath into their mouth
  • Allow them to exhale
  • Give a second breath as above
  • Go back to Chest Compressions – remember these are the most important bit!


What happens next?

CPR on its own, although extremely important, would not restart the heart. This is an electrical issue, and requires electricity to solve.

This is where an AED comes in. The Automated External Defibrillator is a great piece of kit which shocks the heart into stopping, to allow it to restart in its normal rhythm.

AED’s can be found in most shopping centres, train stations, leisure centres and many more places with the introduction of Public AEDs.

More information about Automated External Defibrillators can be found out on one of our training courses – they are amazingly simple to operate, but learning about the how and why is also important!


Want to know more? Attend a training course which covers this topic:

QA Level 3 Award in First Aid at Work (QCF)
QA Level 2 Award in Emergency First Aid At Work (QCF)
QA Level 2 Award In Basic Life Support and Safe Use of an Automated External Defibrillator (QCF)
QA Level 2 Award in Basic Life Support and Management of Anaphylaxis (QCF)
QA Level 3 Award in Paediatric First Aid (QCF)

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