First Time User? Sign Up Now
First Time User? Enroll now.
Home > Health Library > CPR Basics
The American Heart Association recommends taking a class on how to give CPR and then use the chart below as a reference.
What to do
Adults and older children who have reached puberty
Young children until the age of puberty
Babies younger than 1 year
When to call for emergency help
Call 911 before starting CPR and get an AED, if there is one nearby.
Do CPR for 2 minutes. Then call 911 and get an AED, if there is one nearby.
If the person is not breathing normally or is gasping, find the spot to do chest compressions.
Place two fingers on the spot where the ribs come together. Put the heel of your other hand just above your fingers on the breastbone.
(See a picture of hand placement for chest compressions.)
Place two fingers on the breastbone just below the nipple line.
(See a picture of hand placement for chest compressions on a baby.)
How do you give chest compressions?
Use the heel of one hand with the other hand stacked on top of it. Lace your fingers together.
Use the heel of one hand. If you need more force for a larger child, use both hands as you would for an adult.
Use two fingers.
How fast should you do compressions?
Do at least 100 compressions per minute (between 1 and 2 per second).
How far down should you press the chest?
Press the chest down at least 2 inches (5 cm).
Press the chest down at least one-third of the depth of the child's chest [about 2 in. (5 cm)].
Press the chest down at least one-third of the depth of the baby's chest.
If you are trained in CPR, how many compressions and breaths do you give?
Note: Rescue breathing may be more important to do for children and babies than for adults.
30 compressions, 2 breaths. Repeat this 30/2 cycle until help arrives or person breathes on his or her own.
30 compressions, 2 breaths. Repeat this 30/2 cycle until help arrives or child breathes on his or her own.
30 compressions, 2 breaths. Repeat this 30/2 cycle until help arrives or baby breathes on his or her own.
(See a picture of rescue breathing for babies.)
Using an automated external defibrillator (AED)
Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are machines that are programmed to safely deliver an electrical shock to a person who has collapsed from a heart problem. Each AED has instructions for that machine.
AEDs are in many public places. Before you use an AED, follow all the steps for CPR. To use an AED, place it next to the person who has collapsed and turn it on. The AED has a computer inside that will tell you what to do next.
Current as ofSeptember 23, 2018
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Current as of:
September 23, 2018
Medical Review:William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
10208 Cerny St.
Raleigh, NC 27617
1505 SW Cary Parkway
REX Healthcare of Cary, Suite 300
Cary, NC 27511
2076 NC Highway 42 W.
Johnston Professional Plaza, Suite 100
Clayton, NC 27520
603 Beaman St.
Clinton, NC 28328
400 Health Park Drive
REX Healthcare of Garner, Suite 120
Garner, NC 27529
UNC REX Healthcare4420 Lake Boone TrailRaleigh, NC 27607, USA919-784-3100
Chosen for Excellence
Co-Worker & Physician Login
UNC Health Talk
Copyright 2019 UNC Health Care. All rights reserved.