Anybody can and anybody should learn how to perform CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation): According to the American Heart Association, a stunning 70% of Americans don’t know how what to do if somebody is experiencing a cardiac emergency because they don’t know how to administer CPR or they forgot the exact technique. This is especially alarming since almost 90% of cardiac arrests occur at home — where patients depend on the immediate respiratory care response of their family members. In brief, knowing how to perform CPR can save the life of a loved one someday.

CPR How To CPR How To Adults CPR How To Children CPR - Cats and Dogs
While 400,000 cardiac arrests happen outside of hospitals each year in the U.S. alone, hands-on CPR can actually double or triple an adult’s chance of survival. However, you need to act quickly. At four minutes without oxygen, the patient will suffer from permanent brain damage. At eight to ten minutes, the patient can die. Almost 90% of cardiac arrest patients die because no one performed CPR at the scene.

Before You Start CPR

First of all, check if the patient can respond by tapping them on the shoulder and shouting “Are you okay?” If they don’t respond, call for medical emergency services immediately. If others are around, instruct them to call 911 and if you’re alone, do it yourself. If the patient is an animal, call the closest animal hospital. If you happen to be near an AED (defibrillator), read the instructions and give one shock to the patient (this applies to humans only).

CPR Steps For Adults and Children 9 and Older: Hands-Only CPR

  1. Lay the patient on their back and kneel next to their neck and shoulders.
  2. Place the heel of one hand on the center of the patient’s chest.
  3. Place the heel of your other hand over the first and lace fingers together.
  4. Keep your elbows straight and align your shoulders directly over your hands.
  5. Begin compression:
  • As hard as possible
  • At least 100x/minute
  • Allow the chest to rise fully between compressions.

TIP: Give compressions to the beat of disco hit “Stayin’ Alive”!

CPR Steps For Younger Children and Infants

  1.  Tilt the head back a bit and lift chin to open the airway and check for breathing.
  2. If there’s no breathing, give either of these two rescue breaths:
  • Child: Pinch the nose shut and make a complete seal over their mouth
  • Infant: Make a complete seal over their mouth and nose.
  1. Blow in for one second, so the chest visibly rises and repeat this once.
  2. Give 30 chest compressions (100x/minute):
  • Child: Push with one or two hands about two inches deep
  • Infant: Push with two to three fingers about 1.5 inches deep.
  1. Repeat these steps three to four times.


Pet CPR – For Dogs and Cats

[Follow these CPR instructions for puppies]

For Animals Under 10kg/22lbs:

  1.  Use the one-handed technique, wrapping the hand over sternum and chest.
  2. Give 30 chest compressions (100-120x/minute).
  3. Allow the chest to fully recoil between compressions.
  4. Give two mouth-to-snout rescue breaths after each set of compressions (30:2).

For Medium to Giant Dogs:

  • Position the animal on its side.
  • Use the two-handed technique, placing your hands over the widest part of the chest.

For Deep, Narrow-Chested Dogs Like Greyhounds:

  • Use the two-handed technique, placing your hands directly over the heart.

For Barrel-Chested Dogs Like English Bulldogs:

Place animal on its back and use the same positioning and technique as for adult humans Whether you perform CPR on an adult, child, infant, or pets, DO NOT STOP unless:

  • The patient starts breathing
  • An EMS or another citizen responder takes over
  • An AED is ready to use
  • The scene becomes unsafe
  • You are physically incapable of continuing

Make sure to practice and/or brush up your CPR abilities today, so you’re ready to potentially save someone’s life in the future! Furthermore, if you’re interested in making it your profession to help people suffering from respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis, lung cancer, heart attack, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or sleep apnea, you should look into Carrington College’s respiratory care program. This two-year program combines classroom lectures, laboratory instruction, and clinical experience in order to prepare you to work in a variety of healthcare settings. If you’d like to assist and educate people regarding respiratory health concerns, our training program is the ideal fit for you!

19 thoughts on “How To Perform CPR: The Crucial Steps You Should Know

  1. Michelle

    For dogs that you place on their side to perform CPR, which side should you lay them down on? Should they be on their right side with their heart closest to you, or should they be on their left side with the heart on bottom closest to the floor. I thought I knew the answer, but have seen contradicting directions online. Thank you!

    • Robin Blunck

      Hi Michelle,

      Great question! The source that we used stated that neither was preferred and both sides would work equally well.

      “Either left or right lateral recumbency is acceptable.”

  2. Manou

    Hello – here in the UK our NHS (National Health Service) run a wide TV ad campaign regarding CPR last year and it appeared that it helps when you doing the CPR if you do it to the rhythm of Staying alive from the Bee Gees – Hum it in your head and your will automatically follow push following the rhythm to reach the 100 a minute.

    PS good page – I printed it out and hung it up in the kitchen at my house share

  3. Mouse

    As hard as I can?!?!?!?! Might as well let them die…..

    • Marvin L. Zinn

      I was questioning that instruction “as hard as I can”. That should depend on the strength and weight. I would be afraid to break all ribs in one second.

      • Madalehn

        Would you rather have them die or live with a few broken ribs?

  4. Mouse

    Also, I was told the speed of compressions was 90bpm (the same as the song as “Staying Alive” =D

    • sharknado

      shut up

  5. B

    100 compression in one mins !!! that means we ve to give 30 compressions with 2 rescue breath within 15 – 16 secs ??? Is that so ??

  6. joseph

    100x/minute??? why was that? I’m a Philippine Red Cross Youth member and as far as I know CPR should be perform within 2 mins. giving 30 compression 2 initial blows in 5 cycle, so it means that within 2 mins. we’ll just be giving 150 compression. I am not doubting your knowledge about CPR, I’m just wondering.

    • Kelcy

      Obviously if you stop to give rescue breaths you’re not going to complete 100 compressions in a minute. The 100 compressions per minute is just the rate that is necassary to provide adequate perfusion to the body. If you sing staying alive while performing compressions you are compressing at a rate of 100 beats per minute.

  7. penguin bob

    cpr is amazing

  8. sharknado


  9. zahoor kumar

    I like it I want more from you

  10. Theresa Kaser

    Thanks very much for this filling information! I plan on becoming an anesthesiologist in the future, I am turning 14 this year and I’ll be a freshman in high school in the fall. My father suggests that I become an EMT first and work my way up the ladder like my Grandmother did who was a Nurse Anesthetist. Thanks again!

  11. Tong Aguot Tong

    Exactly i like to know for how long should it last for Adult and children, if there is no spontaneous breathing and you have try cpr may for duration of 20minutes

  12. Ankit Shringi

    My question is regarding the position of a first aider during chest compression. Is it really worth to sit in right or left of the patient while performing chest compression ?

    If right position is correct- then why
    If left position is correct- then why

  13. Blogr

    An enthralling article and blog.Thank you for sharing !

  14. Sande lawi

    Can you do cpr to a person who is trapped in a seating position, (no possibility of lying him down.)

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