American Heart Association
For purposes of CPR, the heart association considers everyone 8 and older to be an adult. Upon witnessing a person's collapse, the lay rescuer who is alone should first call 911 and retrieve an automated external defibrillator if one is readily available. If there is anyone else present, that person should do these first steps, freeing the lay rescuer to assess the situation and start CPR.
Even if you know nothing about CPR, the 911 operator may be able to talk you through it. With minimal instructions, the mnemonic A-B-C can help you remember the steps.
- A: Assess Airway -- First make sure you are in a safe place. To determine responsiveness, tap the victim on the shoulder and ask, "Are you OK?" If the victim is unresponsive, tilt the head back and the chin up to open the airway and place your cheek next to the mouth to determine whether there is effective rhythmic breathing. You are looking for chest rise and fall, feeling for air against your cheek, and listening for movement of air.
Note: Occasional gasps are not normal breathing, and CPR should be started immediately. You no longer have to check for a pulse, which is often hard to find and can waste precious minutes.
- B: Breathe -- Kneeling perpendicular to the victim, administer two rescue breaths.
With the head tilted and chin up, pinch the victim's nose, place your mouth completely over the victim's and give two breaths, each lasting one second and just forceful enough to see the chest rise and fall between breaths.
Avoid breaths that are too large or forceful. (If the victim is younger than 1 year old, do not pinch the nose; rather, place your mouth fully over the baby's nose and mouth and give two puffs of air.)
• C: Compress -- Then place the heel of one hand on the victim's chest between the nipples (at the base of the sternum).
Place your other hand over the first and press down hard and fast -- 100 compressions a minute -- so that the chest is depressed by 1 and a half to 2 inches in an adult or a third to a half of the chest depth in a child younger than 8.
(Only one hand on the chest may be needed for a child; use only two or three fingers for an infant. Be sure to allow the chest to rise between compressions.
Do 30 chest compressions for every two rescue breaths for all victims, stopping compressions for just a few seconds to do the breaths.
Minimize interruptions of chest compressions. To be effective, CPR must restore and maintain adequate blood flow through the heart and to the brain.
With every interruption of chest compressions, the pressure of blood flow through the heart drops and the chances of survival fall.
For more information or to schedule a class with an instructor call:
Calistoga Fire Department
1113 Washington Street
Calistoga, CA 94515
Email: Steve Campbell, Fire Chief
Hours of Operation
Monday – Sunday 24 hours/day