Performing CPR Correctly: A Step-by-Step Guide to Saving Lives


Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving technique used to revive individuals experiencing cardiac arrest. Knowing how to perform CPR correctly can significantly increase the chances of survival until medical help arrives. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive step-by-step guide on performing CPR correctly, equipping you with the knowledge and confidence to respond effectively during emergencies.

Note: CPR should only be performed by individuals who have received proper CPR training and certification. If you are not trained in CPR, call emergency services immediately and follow their instructions until professional help arrives.

Step 1: Assess the Situation

Before starting CPR, ensure the scene is safe for both you and the victim. Look for any potential hazards or risks that could compromise your safety.

Step 2: Check Responsiveness

Gently tap the victim and ask loudly, “Are you okay?” If there is no response, proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Call for Help

Immediately call emergency services or instruct someone nearby to do so. Provide clear and concise information about the situation and location.

Step 4: Open the Airway

Place the victim on their back on a firm surface. Tilt their head back gently by lifting the chin to open the airway. Avoid hyperextending the neck, especially if there is a suspected neck injury.

Step 5: Check for Breathing

Quickly check for breathing by looking for chest movement, listening for breath sounds, and feeling for exhaled air on your cheek for no more than 10 seconds. If the victim is not breathing or only gasping, proceed to CPR.

Step 6: Perform Chest Compressions

Position your hands on the center of the victim’s chest, one on top of the other, interlacing your fingers. Keep your arms straight and use your upper body weight to push down hard and fast, aiming for a depth of at least 2 inches (5 centimeters). Perform compressions at a rate of around 100-120 compressions per minute.

Step 7: Give Rescue Breaths

After 30 compressions, open the victim’s airway again by tilting the head back. Pinch the victim’s nose closed and give two rescue breaths, each lasting about 1 second, while watching for chest rise. If the chest does not rise, reposition the head and try again. Do not overinflate the victim’s lungs.

Step 8: Continue Cycles of Compressions and Breaths

Continue cycles of 30 compressions followed by 2 rescue breaths. Maintain a consistent rhythm and depth. Minimize interruptions and ensure proper hand placement and technique throughout.

Step 9: Monitor for Signs of Recovery

Continue performing CPR until emergency medical services arrive, the victim shows signs of life, or you become too exhausted to continue. If another trained individual is available, you can take turns to minimize fatigue.

Step 10: Follow Emergency Services Instructions

Once professional medical help arrives, follow their instructions and provide them with accurate information about the victim’s condition and the actions you have taken.


Being prepared to perform CPR correctly can make a significant difference in saving someone’s life during a cardiac arrest. Remember to seek proper CPR training and certification to ensure you have the necessary skills and knowledge. By assessing the situation, opening the airway, performing chest compressions and rescue breaths, and continuing the cycles until professional help arrives, you can contribute to increasing the chances of survival for individuals experiencing cardiac arrest. Stay calm, act swiftly, and remember that your actions can truly make a life-saving impact.

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