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Chest compressions: Rate, depth, ratio, location, technique, hands-only CPR

Chest compressions: Rate, depth, ratio, location, technique, hands-only CPR

Chest compressions are an essential part of CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and are performed to help maintain blood flow to the brain and other vital organs in a person who has stopped breathing or has no pulse.

  • Rate: Compression rate is important to ensure that blood flow is maintained to the brain and other vital organs. The rate at which chest compressions are performed is typically 100-120 compressions per minute.
  • Depth: Depth is important to ensure that the compressions effectively maintain blood flow. The depth of the compressions should be at least 2-2.4 inches for adults, 2 inches for children, and 1.5 inches for infants.
  • Ratio: The ratio of compressions to breaths in CPR is typically 30:2 for adults and children. This means that for every 30 chest compressions, two breaths should be given.
  • Location: Chest compressions should be performed on the center of the chest, directly over the heart.
  • Technique: Chest compressions should be performed with the palms of the hands, using a straight-arm position. The hands should be placed on the chest with the fingers interlaced and the elbows straight. The compressions should be performed with a pushing motion, using the body weight to provide force.
  • Hands-only CPR: Hands-only CPR is a technique that involves performing chest compressions without giving breaths. This technique is recommended for use by laypeople who are not trained in CPR and are unable to provide rescue breaths. It is important to note that hands-only CPR is only recommended for adults who have suddenly collapsed and are unresponsive. If the person is a child or infant, or if they are choking, traditional CPR with breaths should be performed.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Will chest compressions cause the ribs to break if you push down the chest so hard?

Even if you perform CPR correctly, there's a chance that it will cause the ribs to break if you push down the chest so hard. But it's essential to know that when a victim doesn't have a pulse or breathing, he is practically dead. So you can't make the situation worse. The only thing that you can do is to provide proper CPR by following the recommended depth of chest compressions and CPR compression rate since fractured ribs can be treated after.

Can I do chest compressions without rescue breaths when performing CPR on an unconscious person?

Yes, you can perform chest compressions without rescue breath, especially if the person is breathing or if you are uncomfortable giving rescue breaths without a barrier device. This is called "Hands-only CPR," wherein you will perform continuous chest compressions without rescue breathing.

Why should I compress on the sternum and not the stomach during chest compression?

You must compress on the sternum instead of the stomach because a big, sturdy bone called the sternum sits above the heart. The heart will be squeezed if you press down on this bone, resulting in manual pumping. By performing CPR Steps, you can keep the victim alive until emergency help arrives by ensuring that blood gets to essential body parts. In addition, pressing the sternum reduces the possibility of breaking ribs. It can harm the ribcage or worsen the lung tissues if we push on the left side of the lung, which is where people wrongly think the heart is.

Is there a possibility that performing chest compression can break the sternum or breast bone?

There is a possibility that performing chest compression can break the sternum or ribs. This happens because rescuers need to squeeze the chest around 1½ inches deep during CPR. This CPR compression depth is enough to fracture or break a rib or crack the sternum. However, it's essential to remember that rib fractures can heal. This is better than losing the life of an infant without CPR.

Do I need to stop giving chest compression during the charging of AED?

While the AED is prepared for use, continue giving chest compressions and rescue breathing. When the AED is ready to analyze the heart rhythm, it will advise you to pause CPR and stand CLEAR. When the shock has been given, the defibrillator will let you know whether you need to continue performing CPR.

Can chest compression be harmful to the infant's heart?

Chest compressions won't be harmful if you do the procedure correctly. However, compressing the infant's chest too deep and fast could cause rib fractures and damage the infant's heart. So it's important to follow the recommended compression rate for CPR.