Chest compressions

Once you decide that a cardiac arrest has occurred, commence CPR with chest compressions. The purpose of chest compression is to help keep some blood pumping to keep the heart and other organs alive until a defibrillator arrives to try and restart the heart.

Place hands in centre of chest for cardiac compressions

Skill 9

Performing chest compressions

  1. Kneel by the side of the victim.
  2. Place the heel of one hand in the centre of the chest / lower half of breastbone.
  3. Place the heel of your second hand on top of the first.
  4. Interlock the fingers. Make sure you press only on the breastbone, not the ribs or upper stomach.
  5. From a vertical position above the chest and with straight arms, press down 5-6cm.
  6. After each compression, relax the pressure, but maintain contact with the skin. Repeat for 30 compressions at a rate of 100 to 120 beats per minute (roughly 2 per second).
  7. Compression and release should take equal amounts of time.

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