The ABCs of CPR: What You Need to Know About Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

The ABCs of CPR: What You Need to Know About Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a technique that all must know! If you perform the CPR procedure within the first few minutes after a sudden cardiac arrest, you can double or triple the survival chances of the SCA victim. It’s a simple yet effective technique consisting of chest compressions and rescue breathing.

However, you first must acknowledge the CPR steps and the various CPR techniques. Below you’ll find our brief take on the ABCs of CPR, the CPR steps, methods, and CPR techniques depending on the age groups, history of diseases, and much more!

Let’s take a look!

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: The Fundamentals

Even though there are different CPR procedures, most of the steps and methods usually remain the same. For example, high-quality CPR procedures for adults, infants, children, or elderly citizens will always stay the same. At all the credible and licensed training centers across the United States, you’ll learn these steps and the various emergencies when you need to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

CPR certification classes will teach you that the signs for avoiding or administering CPR procedures for all age groups are the same. This is also true for sudden cardiac arrest victims with various histories of diseases. Nonetheless, our focus now is on the specific cardiopulmonary steps and how they can benefit the sudden cardiac arrest victim.

Following are the CPR steps you should perform before or during the CPR procedure to save the lives of cardiac arrest victims.

      • Check for signs of life, such as breathing and pulse – If the person has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and you can’t trace any signs of life, such as breathing and pulse, you should proceed to give CPR.

      • Call the EMS (Emergency Response Services) – Before you perform the various CPR procedures, depending on the age and the type of emergency – call the emergency response services.

      • Kneel beside the SCA victim and start the CPR procedure – Now, you’ll have to proceed to the performance of the CPR steps. The CPR for cardiac arrest consists of a 30 to 2 ratio of chest compressions to rescue breaths. Within a single CPR cycle, you have to administer between 100 and 120 chest compressions and 6 to 8 rescue breaths.

      • If you have an Automated External Defibrillator on hand, start with the AED procedure.

      • Minimize the interruptions between the chest compressions and the rescue breaths.

      • Immediately stop after the EMSs arrive!

    These are some fundamental CPR steps for bystanders and professional health services. Once you master these steps, you’ll easily acknowledge the alternations and changes in performing the CPR procedure to different age groups and SCA patients with various histories of diseases.

    The ABCs of CPR: CPR-mandatory Emergencies

    According to the healthcare praxis, there’re particular situations in which you must perform the CPR procedure and emergencies. However, there are also situations when you should strictly avoid performing this life-saving technique to prevent harming the person’s health even more!

    Following are some situations in which you must perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation to save the life of the unconscious victim:

    A Sudden Cardiac Arrest

    In most sudden cardiac arrest cases, you’ll have to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation because the person can quickly lose consciousness and pulse. No pulse and breathing can result in inefficient blood and oxygen flow to the brain. The decreased oxygen and blood flow can result in severe brain impairments and other possible damages.

    That’s why many credible health institutions, such as the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross, emphasize hands-only CPR for inexperienced bystanders. As mentioned, the immediate performance of CPR procedures for SCA victims can double or triple the survival chances.


    Drowning is another emergency when you’ll have to perform the CPR procedure. However, when a person drowns, you have to check the movement of the eyes and the breathing to determine whether to give CPR and whether it should be hands-only CPR. For drowning persons who are breathing but don’t have a pulse, you should administer high-quality CPR.

    On the other hand, if the person is breathing – hands-only CPR is enough! Mind that drowning emergencies usually happen to children. That’s why infant and child CPR effectively battles most drowning emergency cases.

    Allergic Reactions

    Anaphylaxis is the name for severe allergic reactions, which can quickly result in a sudden cardiac arrest or losing consciousness and pulse. When the heart rhythm is disturbed, while the throat is swollen, the person will stop breathing and quickly lose consciousness. That’s only one reason why the CPR steps are necessary for anaphylaxis. Other reasons would be improper blood and oxygen flow to the brain.

    Burning and Chemical Injuries

    Other emergencies – when CPR procedures are necessary – are burning and chemical injuries. For example, third-degree burning injuries can quickly make the victim fall unconscious or suffer a subsequent cardiac arrest. The same is true for severe chemical injuries, which can easily result in sudden cardiac arrest.

    Drug Overdose

    In 2021, more than 100.000 people across the United States died from a drug overdose. There are many reasons to perform CPR and save the life of a drug-overdosed person. For example, drug overdose can quickly produce side effects, such as cardiac toxicity and respiratory depression. These symptoms can subsequently result in a sudden cardiac arrest.

    The ABCs of CPR: Emergencies When You Should Avoid CPR

    Even though there are only a few emergencies when you should avoid performing the CPR procedure, it’s essential to know them to avoid harming the person’s life and increasing the mortality rate. Following are some of the emergencies when you should avoid the CPR procedures and the CPR steps:

        • When you notice obvious signs of life – If the person is conscious or breathing, you should avoid performing the CPR procedures.

        • When you find yourself in a potentially hazardous situation – Particular emergencies can harm your health and increase the risk of death.

        • When there are obvious signs of death – If you notice the bluish and gray skin and mouth color or the fixated eyes, it’s time to stop with the chest compressions and rescue breathing.

        • When you feel exhausted, and there’s a risk of fatigue – If you feel exhausted and there’s a potential risk of losing consciousness, you should immediately stop the CPR procedure!

        • When you perform the CPR procedures for more than 30 minutes – If you’re performing the CPR procedure for more than 30 minutes and there aren’t any signs of life, it’s time to stop!

      Different CPR Types

      You won’t know the ABCs of CPR without the different CPR types, such as adult CPR and child CPR. On top of that, there are other distinctions, such as hands-only CPR, high-quality CPR, etc. The following are the key differences between the various CPR procedures and their specific characteristics depending on the age of the patient:

          1. Adult CPR consists of 30:2 chest compressions vs. rescue breaths. The compressions should be 2 inches within the chest, and you should perform 100 to 120 compressions within a minute.

          1. Infant & Child CPRChild CPR is usually the same as Adult CPR. However, if you encounter a baby who has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest, you’ll have to alter the depth of the chest compressions to 1.5 inches within the chest. Moreover, you should use your thumbs – instead of whole hands – to administer the chest compressions.

        CPR Certification Classes: All You Need to Know!

        Across the United States, numerous organizations and training centers provide CPR certification services to private individuals or businesses. However, the government (federal and state) institutions don’t recognize every CPR certificate – only the classes and certificates licensed and approved by credible organizations like AHA and the American Red Cross.

        That’s why, if you want to learn the ABC, these training centers provide CPR certification classes on different levels. For example, you can enroll and apply for Basic Life Support & CPR certification classes, Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support, Infant & Child CPR, and much more.

        Final Thoughts

        As we’ve mentioned, the ABCs of CPR include several steps. Start with chest compressions (with two hands for adults and two thumbs for infants), and give rescue breaths (lock the victims’ nostrils with your thumbs and index finger and blow air into their airways). Repeat the procedure 3 to 4 times within a minute. The chest compression vs. rescue breathing ratio should be 30 to 2.
        However, the CPR procedures can differ from victim to victim depending on their age and history of diseases. On top of that, some emergencies require that you skip the CPR procedure and proceed to call EMSs. Nonetheless, you can master this technique and everything you need to know about CPR at the licensed and credible CPR certification training courses.