Adult Cardiopulmonary Resusitation Without the Use of an AED




Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is an important skill to have. The need for CPR can happen anytime, anywhere and by having knowledge of how to perform CPR you could potentially save a person's life.

*DISCLAIMER: Even without certification, it is possible to save a life. That being said, this Instructable does not certify the reader in CPR. It is highly recommend that you take a class taught by a certified instructor and become certified. Find a local CPR course in you area to get certified.

If there is someone at the scene that is trained in CPR let them preform it. Assist them by calling emergency services or helping them in other ways as needed.

Attached is a quick reference card that you may print off and keep in a wallet or purse.

Also, it is a good idea to know and understand your state's Good Samaritan Laws.

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Step 1: Check to Make Sure the Scene Is Safe!

You are no good to the victim if you become a victim yourself. Check your surroundings to ensure it is safe before you approach the victim.

Step 2: Check for Responsiveness

Check the responsiveness of the victim by means of verbal and physical communication. Shake the shoulder and ask them in a loud voice, "ARE YOU OKAY?"

Step 3: Get Help!

If another person(s) are around, identify one to get help and call 911.

REMEMBER: If someone else is certified in CPR, let them perform it while you call Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

Step 4: Check for Pulse

To check the pulse over the carotid artery, place your index and middle fingers on the neck to the side of the windpipe. If there is no pulse, continue onto the next step.

Step 5: Look, Listen, Feel

Check for breathing using the look listen and feel technique. Place your ear above the victim's mouth and nose while staring down to the victims chest.

Look for rise and fall for the chest.

Listen for sounds of breath.

Feel for breaths from the victim hitting your face.

Step 6: Hand Placement

Use your fingers to locate the end of the victim's breastbone, where the ribs come together. Place 2-4 fingers at the tip of the breastbone. Place free hand's heel above your fingers on the chest. Grasp the hand and interlock fingers keeping bottom hand's fingers extended.

Step 7: Compressions

With arms fully extended use your upper body weight (not just your arms) to compress the chest 1.5 to 2 inches (approximately 1/3 depth of the chest) and release, allowing for complete recoil of the chest. Continue at a rate to complete 100 compressions per minute.

NOTE: This will cause damage to the victim's ribs. You are pushing through to work as a manual pumper of their heart. A few bruised or broken ribs are nothing compared to death.

Step 8: Respirations

After 30 compression, form a tight seal around mouth, give the victim 2 breaths. Each breath should be approximately one second long.

Step 9: Head-tilt, Chin-lift

To perform the head-tilt, chin-lift, place non-dominate hand on top of the victim's forehead. Apply gentle but firm backward pressure. With other hand, place thumb on chin and two fingers under boney part of chin. Gently lift chin forward and out to open mouth.

Step 10: Personal Protection Equipment.

Personal Protection Equipment should be used to prevent any contagious disease to spread. There are many options to choose from when giving respirations. Pocket mask and foldable face shields are made to protect you from the victims saliva and vomit. They are designed to be easily carried or packed and can be found at most drug stores.

*Another option to improvise in the scenario that a mask is not available is using a t-shirt or some breathable material.

Step 11: How It Should Look All Together

Step 12: Conclusion

Once you have started CPR, you are legally obligated to continue until one of the following: You have become physically exhausted, the victim recovers, help arrives with equal or greater training than yourself or the scene becomes unsafe for you to be there.

It is highly important to get trained in CPR no matter who you are or what you do. There are many situations where someone maybe hurt and in need of CPR. You maybe the only one available.

American Red Cross. American Red Cross; CPR Steps. 2016. 3 November 2016.

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    8 Discussions


    2 years ago

    o.. another two things :)

    1) neopolitan, this is interesting, source?

    2) maybe you could add some background info in the instructable what CPR actually does... people seems to believe applying CPR will resurrect a dead person... while in reality what you are most likely doing is keeping the vital organs supplied with oxygen... which will buy you time that - in case medical professionals/machine are able to get the heart going- might prevent too much damage. .. which obviously is an excellent thing to do :)

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago


    2 years ago

    I'm glad you shared this, it's surprising how few people take CPR classes! Another good thing to note, once you start CPR on a victim you can't (legally) stop until they are ok again or the EMTs arrive and take over for you. Starting CPR means you're taking responsibility for trying to revive them, so you have to keep trying. And it's not uncommon to crack a rib or two with those chest compressions. ^.^;

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you for the input, we originally had that in there but didn't noticed it was removed. It has been updated.


    2 years ago

    I have two considerations to add:
    1) when i did my CPR course I was taught to skip the pulse check. Reason: it's often hard to check for a non professional, so you only waste time... go to the listen/chest activity right away I was taught
    2) when a minor is involved, start with two breaths right away.. reason: heartfailure is a highly unlikely cause for a kid without a heartbeat, the reason probably is suffocation.. so breathing/clearing mouth is important


    2 years ago

    the latest science suggests that breaths are a waste of compression time. ie breaths are redundant


    2 years ago

    There are some handy songs to sing to help you keep a good, steady rhythm, for example:
    Nelly the Elephant
    Stayin' Alive (Bee Gee's)
    Another Bites the Dust (Queen)

    Apparently, the 3rd one is insensitive and it isn't recommended to sing that one out matter how funny your First Aid Examiner finds it...oops lol