Compressions are the most critical component of CPR and should always be administered first in an emergency situation.
Compressions are the act of essentially forcing the heart to pump blood through the body after it has stopped working on it’s own. By pushing down on the victim’s chest fast and firmly, you’re compressing the heart muscle and causing blood to pump through it. Since oxygenated blood to the vital organs is most important to their functioning properly, compressions should be administered right away to catalyze this process.
Here are the basic techniques of applying compressions.
- 1. Place the palm of one hand on the bottom center of the rib cage with the other hand over top.
- 2. Push down hard to compress the rib cage 2 inches.
- 3. Allow the ribcage to return to its normal position.
- 4. Apply 30 compressions at a rate of 100 compressions per minute
Not sure how fast 100 compressions per minute is? Here are some popular songs that all have a beat of 100 beats per minute. If you apply compressions along with the beat of these songs, you’re doing it correctly.
Now that you know the basics of applying compressions for CPR. Move on to breaths so learn the next critical skill.