CPR & First Aid Review

(Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation)

There is no substitute for a course in CPR and First Aid certification. This section is for those who have already taken a course in CPR and First Aid. It provides a review of how to save lives. Many people who take a course, forget a large portion of what they've learned, emphasizing the importance of review courses. We suggest you read through this information to refresh your memory, and if it sounds unfamiliar, please sign up for a certified course. By itself, this information does not constitute adequate training for CPR and first aid. Only a fraction of emergency situations possible is reviewed within this material. If you have not taken a course, please contact your Red Cross Chapter for further information on courses they offer. Injury can result from rescue techniques performed incorrectly, so read this information carefully. If you are presented with a situation and can't remember the specifics, remember this... A person can only survive for 4 to 6 minutes, once their heart or breathing has stopped. If you have the most knowledge of CPR and first aid compared to anyone else present at the time, then use it. CPR and first aid training could save someone you love.

If you find a victim lying on the floor...

  • Tap the victim and shout "are you OK?!"
  • Shout for help

If the victim is unconscious

  • Roll the victim onto his or her back.
  • Move the victim as one unit without twisting their body.
  • It's easier if the arm they're rolling toward is stretched above their head.
  • Pull their hip and shoulder initially.
  • Then support their head and hip as they complete the roll.
  • Reposition their arms along their sides.
  • Open their airway.
  • Tilt their head back with one hand on their forehead.
  • Lift their chin forward with the other hand.
  • Check for breathing.
  • Bend over victim.
  • Place your ear just above the victim's mouth and nose to listen and feel for breathing. This is the only sure indicator for breathing. Look at the chest for the movement of breathing.

If victim is not breathing...

  • Give 2 breaths
  • Sustain the victim's head-tilted chin-lifted position.
  • Pinch the victim's nose.
  • Give 2 breaths (1 to 1.5 seconds per breath) watching the chest rise and listening for escaping air after each breath.

If air will not go in...

  • Retilt head and lift chin.
  • Give two full breaths.

If air still won't go in...

  • Give 6 to 10 abdominal thrusts.
  • Straddle the victim's thighs.
  • Place the heal of one hand against the middle of the victim's abdomenÉ
    Just above the navel
    Well below the lower tip of the sternum (breast bone)
  • Place your other hand on top of the first hand with your fingers pointed toward the victim's head.
  • Thrust your hands upward and into the victim's abdomen.
  • Do a finger sweep.
  • Kneel beside the victim's head.
  • Grasp the victim's tongue and lower jaw together and lift the jaw.
  • Slide the index finger of the other hand...
    Into the mouth
    Down along the inside of the cheek
    Deep into the throat to the base of the tongue
    With a hooking action attempt to dislodge the object and pull it into the mouth from where you can remove it.
  • Open the airway and give two full breaths.
  • Continue these three steps until the obstruction is cleared.

Note: If the victim is in the late stages of pregnancy and or is greatly overweight use chest thrusts instead of abdominal thrusts. Chest thrusts compress the chest in the same way as chest compressions used for a cardiac arrest, compressing the chest 1.5 to 2 inches.

If air goes in...

  • Check for a pulse.
  • Sustain tilted head with one hand.
  • Place middle fingers on the Adams apple.
  • Slide fingers down toward you into the groove between the throat and the muscle at the side of the neck.
  • Feel for a pulse from 5 to 10 seconds.
  • Call 911 or have someone else call.
  • Tell the person calling whether the victim has a pulse and/or is breathing.

No breathing has pulse...

  • Give one breath every 5 seconds (1 to 1.5 sec. Per breath).
  • Check for breathing between breaths with your ear.
  • After every minute (about 12 breaths) check the victim's pulse.
  • Check for breathing for 3 seconds.
  • Continue as necessary.

Is breathing, no pulse...

  • Find the correct hand position for compressions
  • Kneel facing the victim's chest.
  • Find the lower end of the victim's rib cage.
  • Run your fingers along the edge of the ribcage to the notch were it meets the sternum (breast bone).
  • Place the heel of your other hand 2 finger breadths above the notch.
  • Place the heel of the hand you used to find the notch on top of the heel of the hand you've placed on the sternum.
  • Apply chest compressions, 80 to 100 per minute.
  • Keep your fingers off the chest.
  • Straighten your arms and lock your elbows.
  • Push straight down using the weight of your body in a smooth motion.
  • Compressing the sternum 1.5 to 2 inches.
  • Release pressure completely while maintaining hand position. Repeat.

No breathing, no pulse...

  • Find the correct hand position for compressions.
  • Give 15 compressions at the rate of 80 to 100 per minute.
  • Count out loud "1 and 2 and 3 and..."
  • Tilt head and lift chin.
  • Give 2 full breaths.
  • Repeat these steps for 4 cycles of 15 compressions and 2 breaths.
  • After 4 cycles, check for a pulse for 5 seconds.

If there is still no pulse...

  • Give 2 breaths and continue the 15 compressions and 2 breaths cycle.

If you do find a pulse...

  • Check for breathing for 3 to 5 seconds.

If there's no breathing...

  • Start rescue breathing.

If victim is breathing...

  • Keep airway open and monitor breathing and pulse.


Signs of choking

  • Coughing weekly
  • Making a high pitched sound
  • Unable to speak, breathe or cough forcefully
  • Grabbing one's throat

If the victim is standing or sitting and looks like he/she is choking...

  • Ask if they are choking.
  • Tell the victim you know CPR and offer to help.
  • Tell someone to call 911.
  • Perform the Heimlich maneuver.
  • Wrap your arms around the victim's waist.
  • Make a fist with one hand.
  • Place the thumb side of your fist against the middle of the victim's abdomenÉ
    Just above the navel
    Well below the breastbone
  • Grab your fist with the other hand.
  • Quickly thrust your fist upward and into the abdomen.
  • Repeat thrust until object is cleared.

Note: If the person is in the late stages of pregnancy or is too large for you to reach around them use a chest thrust.

  • Stand behind and slide your arms under their armpits.
  • Make a fist and place the thumb side on the middle of the sternum (breast bone), away from the lower tip of the bone.
  • Grab your fist and thrust backward.
  • Repeat until airway obstruction is cleared.

Signals of a heart attack...

The earlier someone calls 911 and the earlier action is taken, the better the chances for survival! So if someone is experiencing chest discomfort or pain using the following descriptive words, take action immediately!

  • Pressure
  • Squeezing
  • Fullness
  • Tightness
  • Aching
  • Crushing
  • Constricting
  • Oppressive
  • Heavy pain in the chest spreading to theÉ
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Denial of having a heart attack

What to do for a heart attack victim...

  • Call for help. Order the victim to...
    Stop what they are doing
    Sit or lie down in a comfortable position
    Stay still
  • Have a person call 911 or if you're alone make the call yourself.
  • Loosen restrictive clothing.
  • Ask the victim for information...
    Medical conditions
    Has this happened before?
    Location of the pain
    How long the pain has occurred
    Characteristics of the pain (dull, heavy, sharp)

If the heart stops beating causing the victim to pass out

  • Perform CPR immediately. Breathing may stop as well.

Treating a wound

External Bleeding

Uncontrollable bleeding that does not clot can kill. Blood pouring or spurting from a wound is especially dangerous.

Note: Tourniquets are no longer used, unless you are the only person around and you need your hands free for survival, as in pulling a shark attack victim to shore.

To reduce your risk of acquiring a blood born disease during treatment, always use a barrier between your skin and the victim's blood. (The victim's hand, saran wrap, gloves, or a cloth for example.) Avoid bringing your hands close to your mouth, nose or eyes. Wash your hands immediately after providing care.

To control external bleeding...

  • Cover the wound with a dressing using a sterile gauze. If none is available use a clean cloth or pad to protect the wound from germs.
  • Place your hand over the dressing and apply firm pressure.
  • Elevate the wound above the heart unless there is a broken bone in the same area.
  • Wrap a bandage tightly over the dressing to keep pressure on the wound.
  • If blood soaks threw, add more pads. Do not remove blood soaked pads.
  • Continue to monitor the patient's condition, until Emergency Technicians arrive.

If an extremity like a finger is sliced clean off

  • Wrap the object in sterile gauze, or a clean cloth if no gauze is available.
  • Place the wrapped object in a plastic bag.
  • Surround the bag with ice.
  • Go to the emergency room immediately with the object.

Treating shock

Shock is a condition in which the circulatory system fails to provide the body with oxygen rich blood, causing failure of vital organs such as the brain, heart and lungs. Shock results from sudden illness, injury and emotional stress.

Symptoms of shock include...

  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Increased heart rate
  • Weakened pulse
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Pale/bluish complexion
  • Cool moist skin
  • Thirst
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of consciousness

If shock occurs

  • Call for help

If you don't suspect head or neck injuries or broken hip or leg bones...

  • Position the victim to lie on his/her back.
  • Elevate the legs 12 inches using blankets, books or some other object.

If you do suspect head or neck injuries...

  • Do not move the victim unless there is immediate danger from fire, toxic fumes, heavy traffic, electrical wires, or deep swift moving water.
  • If you are forced to move the victim for one of these reasons, try not to bend or twist the victim's body.

Keep the victim's body temperature at a normal level

  • If they are heating up provide shade and loosen clothing
  • If they are cold, provide blankets
  • Do not give the victim food or drink

If the victim has trouble breathing

  • Elevate the head and back
  • Support them in a semi-reclining position using blankets, pillows, boxes, etc.

If the victim vomits

  • Lift their arms above their head
  • Roll the victim toward the side of the raised arm
  • Allow the vomit to drain from the mouth

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