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5 Situations When You Do Not Perform CPR

The Importance of Knowing When Not to Perform CPR

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving technique used in emergencies when someone’s heartbeat or breathing has stopped. While many people know the importance of administering CPR in times of need, it’s equally crucial to understand situations when CPR is not advisable. Knowing when and when not to execute CPR can make a significant difference in ensuring the safety and well-being of both the rescuer and the victim.

When the Victim is Responsive

If an individual is conscious, breathing, or able to communicate, performing CPR is unnecessary and can potentially cause harm. Before initiating CPR, check for responsiveness by asking simple questions and gently tapping the person’s shoulder. If they respond in any way, it’s best to refrain from CPR and instead offer comfort and reassurance while waiting for professional medical help.

When You Are Alone and Haven’t Called Emergency Services Yet

In a situation where you are the sole person able to assist and have not yet called emergency services, your first step should be to dial the emergency number before starting CPR. This is essential because time is of the essence in a cardiac emergency, and professional medical personnel need to be en route as quickly as possible. While on the call, emergency operators can also provide instructions on how to perform CPR if it is indeed needed.

If the Environment is Unsafe

Your safety should always be a priority. If the environment poses any danger—such as fire, toxic gas, live electricity, or risk of structural collapse—it’s critical to ensure that you and the victim are in a safe location before attempting CPR. Administering CPR in a hazardous environment could endanger both you and the victim. If it’s not safe to provide aid, seek help immediately and inform emergency services of the situation.

When You Observe Signs of Life

Should you notice any signs of life, such as breathing, coughing, or movement, during CPR, it’s crucial to stop compressions and check the person’s condition. These signs indicate that the heart is beating and that the individual may not require chest compressions at that moment. Continuously monitor the person’s condition and be ready to resume CPR if they become unresponsive or signs of life disappear.

Legal Restrictions and DNR Orders

One of the most critical reasons you might not perform CPR is if the person has a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order. A DNR is a legal order, written or oral according to state laws, indicating that a person does not wish to receive CPR if their heart stops beating or they stop breathing. If you are aware of a DNR order, or if one is clearly presented to you, you must respect these wishes and not perform CPR.

Conclusion: Reinforcing CPR Knowledge and Action

Understanding when not to perform CPR is as vital as knowing how to execute the procedure correctly. These guidelines are designed to ensure that CPR is performed only when necessary and safe, respecting both the immediate needs of the individual requiring assistance and legal considerations. Regular CPR training and refreshing your knowledge can help prepare you to respond appropriately in different situations. Always remember, when in doubt, seeking advice from medical professionals or emergency services is the best course of action. We encourage readers to engage in comments or share this post to help spread awareness on this crucial topic.


How Does CPR Differ in an Unresponsive, Choking Adult Victim?

Did you know that thousands of adults experience life-threatening choking incidents every year? It’s a frightening statistic, but it’s one that emphasizes the crucial role of CPR in saving lives. This article will discuss the specifics of administering CPR to unresponsive adults who are choking, differentiating it from the standard procedure used in cases of cardiac arrest. Our objective is simple yet ambitious: to arm you with knowledge and confidence, turning you into a potential lifesaver.

Understanding CPR – What It Is and Why It Matters

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is a life-saving technique used in emergencies when a victim’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped. While most people associate CPR with heart attacks, it’s also crucial for victims of choking where the airway is blocked.

What is CPR?

CPR is a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths that help circulate oxygenated blood to vital organs when the heart has stopped pumping. The goal is to maintain a minimal level of blood flow to the brain and heart until emergency medical services arrive. CPR buys time, keeping the brain alive until the heart can be restarted, either by medical professionals or through the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED).

Why It Matters

Immediate Response – Time is crucial during cardiac arrest or choking. Without oxygen-rich blood circulating through the body, irreversible brain damage can occur within minutes. Performing CPR immediately after someone collapses can double or even triple their chances of survival.

Community Resilience – CPR is not just for healthcare professionals. Anyone can learn CPR, and having more people trained in it increases the likelihood of someone receiving help quickly during an emergency, especially in areas where emergency medical services may take longer.

Empowerment and Confidence – Knowing CPR empowers individuals to take action in emergencies. It can provide a sense of confidence and readiness to handle unexpected situations, whether at home, work, or in public spaces.

Peace of Mind – Learning CPR can offer peace of mind, knowing that you have the skills to potentially save a life. This confidence can translate into a willingness to act swiftly and decisively during emergencies rather than feeling helpless or paralyzed by fear.

Support for Loved Ones – Understanding CPR isn’t just about helping strangers. It’s about being prepared to assist friends, family members, or even bystanders in distress. Being able to administer CPR to a loved one until professional help arrives can make a significant difference in their outcome.

The Difference Between CPR for Cardiac Arrest and Choking

The primary difference lies in the initial approach: For a choking victim, the focus is clearing the airway before proceeding to chest compressions or rescue breaths.

Components of CPR: AED, Compressions, and Breaths

Overview of AEDs – While AEDs are pivotal in cardiac emergencies, their role in choking incidents is limited.

The role of chest compressions – Essential in maintaining blood flow, even more so when the airway is blocked.

Importance of rescue breaths – In choking cases, ensuring the airway is clear before attempting rescue breaths is vital.

The Chain of Survival – Timely Interventions

Quick actions can significantly increase the chances of survival in choking incidents. This includes:

  • Early access to emergency response
  • Prompt initiation of CPR
  • When appropriate, early defibrillation
  • Ensuring advanced life support and proper post-care are available as soon as possible.

Identifying a Choking Victim – Vital First Steps

Identifying a choking victim and taking immediate action are crucial steps in potentially saving a life during a choking emergency.

Signs of Severe Choking in Adults

Look for the inability to speak, breathe, or cough forcefully, the universal sign for choking (hands clutching the throat), and a change in skin, lips, and nail color to blue due to oxygen deprivation.

Immediate Actions – What to Do Before CPR

Encourage coughing if possible. If not, deliver five sturdy back blows followed by five abdominal thrusts, also known as the Heimlich maneuver. This can sometimes be enough to dislodge the obstruction.

When to Start CPR – Transitioning from First Aid

If the victim becomes unresponsive, it’s time to call for emergency help and prepare to administer CPR. Your prompt action can make all the difference.

Administering CPR to a Choking Victim – A Step-by-Step Guide

Here’s a step-by-step guide for administering CPR when a victim is choking:

Adjustments in CPR for Choking Victims

Checking for responsiveness and breathing takes precedence, with added emphasis on looking for and removing visible obstructions before starting compressions or breaths.

Chest Compressions – Technique and Frequency

Ensure correct hand placement and posture for effective compressions, aiming for a depth of about 2 inches (5 cm) at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute. Adapt your approach for elderly victims or those with osteoporosis to avoid further injury.

Rescue Breaths – Ensuring Safe Delivery

Take extra precautions to check the airway for obstructions and adapt the head-tilt and chin-lift maneuver if standard methods are ineffective, ensuring you do not exacerbate the blockage.

Advanced Considerations and Recovery

Handling Complications – Common Issues and Solutions

Be prepared for complications such as objects that are difficult to dislodge, broken ribs, or aspiration risks, and know how to respond to each.

Recovery Position and Post-Choking Care

Once the object is dislodged and normal breathing resumes, placing the victim in a recovery position helps maintain an open airway and monitor for any delayed complications.

Preventing Choking – Tips and Strategies

Promoting safe eating practices and advocating for widespread CPR and first aid training can prevent many choking incidents before they occur.

To acquire online CPR certification and successfully respond during emergencies, visit Simple CPR and choose from the available CPR certification courses, which typically include Basic CPR, CPR/AED, and CPR/AED/First Aid options. After registering or signing up for an account, select the course format that fits your needs. Once you complete the course modules and pass the final assessment or exam demonstrating your proficiency and understanding of CPR skills, Simple CPR issues your CPR certification, which you can print immediately. Keep track of your CPR certification expiration date and renew it to maintain your credentials and stay prepared to respond to cardiac emergencies effectively.

Understanding and correctly applying CPR techniques tailored explicitly for choking adults can make a monumental difference in emergency situations. Your actions, informed by this knowledge, could very well be life-saving. Let’s be proactive in learning, practicing, and spreading awareness about CPR. Together, we can stand prepared to offer a helping hand when it’s needed the most.


Q: Can I perform the Heimlich maneuver on myself if I am choking?

A: Yes, you can use your hands or a sturdy object to apply pressure to your abdomen, thrusting upward to dislodge the object.

Q: How often do I need to renew my CPR certification?

A: It’s generally recommended that you renew your CPR certification every two years to stay up-to-date with the latest guidelines. With Simple CPR, you can renew your CPR certification in 60 mins or less. 

Q: Are there different CPR methods for children and adults?

A: Yes, CPR techniques and considerations vary between adults, children, and infants, primarily in the force and depth of compressions. Simple CPR offers CPR and first-aid courses for adults, children, and infants. 

Q: What should I do if my CPR attempts don’t seem to work?

A: Continue performing CPR until medical help arrives. Sometimes, it takes time for CPR to yield visible results.

Q: How can I control the fear of causing harm while performing CPR?

A: Remember, in a life-threatening situation, the benefit of performing CPR far outweighs the risk of potential injury. Training and practice can also boost your confidence.

FAQs on CPR for Choking Victims

  1. What is the main difference in performing CPR on an unresponsive choking victim?
  2. The main difference in performing CPR on an unresponsive choking victim is the need to first attempt to clear the airway of the obstruction before starting chest compressions.
  3. How to perform CPR on an unresponsive, choking adult?
  4. To perform CPR on an unresponsive, choking adult, first attempt to clear the airway with back blows and abdominal thrusts. If the obstruction persists, begin CPR with chest compressions and rescue breaths.
  5. How to perform CPR on an unresponsive choking infant?
  6. To perform CPR on an unresponsive, choking infant, start with back blows and chest thrusts to clear the airway. If the obstruction persists, initiate CPR with chest compressions and rescue breaths, adjusting the technique for the infant’s smaller size and delicate structure.
  7. What do you do if someone is choking and becomes unresponsive?
  8. If someone is choking and becomes unresponsive, immediately begin CPR by laying the person flat, starting chest compressions, and giving rescue breaths. Continue CPR until emergency medical services arrive or the obstruction is cleared.
  9. What are two key differences when giving care to an unresponsive, choking adult or child?
  10. Two key differences when giving care to an unresponsive, choking adult or child include the strength of the abdominal thrusts and the depth of chest compressions, which are adjusted according to the victim’s age and size.

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Infant Chest Compression – How To Do It?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a critical lifesaving procedure that combines chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breathing to restore blood circulation and oxygenation in an individual who has suffered cardiac arrest or a respiratory emergency. The lungs and heart play a crucial role in the CPR process as they work together to keep us alive. The lungs inhale oxygen-rich air, which the blood carries to the heart’s left chambers, where it is pumped into the body’s arteries. The blood then travels through the body, delivering oxygen and removing carbon dioxide from the tissues, with CO2 being exhaled out of the lungs. The CPR technique ensures that the flow of blood and oxygen to the vital organs stays uninterrupted until the emergency responders arrive.

When it comes to lifesaving skills, few are as crucial as CPR. Everyone should know how to perform it, especially parents and caregivers responsible for young children. However, adult CPR certification is not enough when performing the lifesaving technique on a child or infant. The procedures involved are different, requiring you to undergo proper training to ensure you’re fully prepared in an emergency. By taking a course tailored specifically to those age groups, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and skills that could ultimately save a young life. Simple CPR offers Adult-Child-Infant CPR/AED online training courses and Adult-Child-Infant CPR and First Aid online training classes, all based on the latest American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines.

Online BLS CPR certification courses by Simple CPR are fast, easy to follow, and incredibly convenient. These courses are cost-efficient, and you can retake your test many times without being charged for it. Once you successfully complete the online training course, you can print out your card immediately.

How to Perform Infant Chest Compressions?

Checking Responsiveness and Recognizing a Potential Cardiac Arrest

Staying vigilant is essential for ensuring the safety of our little ones. That includes recognizing the signs of a potential cardiac arrest and knowing how to respond. If you ever find yourself in a situation where an infant is unresponsive and not breathing normally, the first step is to gently tap their foot or shoulder and call out to them. If there is no response, immediately position the infant on their back and begin CPR while asking a bystander to dial 911 for emergency services.

1 Rescuer Infant CPR

The first step is to place the child on a hard, flat surface. From there, it is crucial to locate the center of the chest just below the imaginary line between the nipples and perform chest compressions with two fingers. According to current BLS guidelines, a compression depth of one-third to one-half of the anteroposterior chest diameter is recommended. 

  • Compressions are key to CPR and should be done fast at 100/120 per minute.
  • After 30 compressions, open the airways using the head-lift chin-lift method for mouth-to-mouth breathing. Tilt the head till the nose points to the ceiling and avoid tilting back further, as it could block the airways.
  • Create an airtight seal around the infant’s mouth and nose by covering it with your mouth while providing breaths. Give 2 breaths, ensuring the puffs are small and just enough to raise the baby’s chest. 
  • Remember to repeat the 30 compressions and 2 breaths a total of 5 times to increase the chances of survival.
  • To help keep the right pace, the AHA recommends compressing to the beat of “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees.

2 Rescuer Infant CPR

Performing infant chest compressions is a challenging task requiring a high level of expertise and physical endurance. Rescuer fatigue is a real concern and can significantly impact the quality of chest compressions provided. Even when a single rescuer denies feeling fatigued, the quality of chest compressions may deteriorate within minutes. So if two rescuers are present during CPR, they can alternate the compressor role every two minutes. Such rotation helps prevent compressor fatigue and ensures that the chest compressions’ rate and quality remain consistent throughout the resuscitation procedure. By working together, two rescuers can provide the necessary support to sustain the required level of energy and attention.

  • For 2-person infant CPR, remember that the compression-to-breath ratio is 15:2. 
  • One rescuer will position the infant facing up, placing their fingers in the middle of the chest to perform compressions, while the other uses a one-way valve over the mouth and nose. 
  • Both rescuers work together to perform infant chest compressions and breathing.
  • If an Advanced Airway (e.g., endotracheal tube, esophageal-tracheal combitube, or laryngeal mask airway [LMA]) is used, you can give one breath every 6 seconds at a rate of 10 breaths per minute.


Emergencies happen when you are least prepared, and it’s essential to know the proper techniques to administer lifesaving procedures like CPR. While learning the basics of infant chest compressions is a significant first step, taking your knowledge to the next level can make a difference in someone’s life. With Simple CPR’s AHA-approved Infant CPR online course, you can become confident in performing compressions for infants and young children, giving you the peace of mind you need as a parent or caregiver. Register with Simple CPR today and give yourself the tools to save a life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the correct chest compression for infants?

When administering CPR to an infant, it is crucial to locate the equipment needed and then quickly assess the situation. The proper chest compression technique involves placing 2 fingers just below the breastbone and applying pressure to push down 1½ inches toward the backbone. Compressions should be done rapidly, at a rate of 100 per minute, allowing the chest to return to its normal position after each one.

  • What is the compression rate for 1 rescuer infant CPR?

In the case of infant CPR for the lone rescuer, the recommended ratio is 30 compressions for every 2 breaths, also known as a compression-to-ventilation ratio of 30:2. Once the initial set of compressions has been completed, take a moment to open the airway and deliver two breaths. These steps will help provide the infant with the necessary oxygen to keep their vital organs functioning while also working to restore circulation to the heart and brain.

  • Is CPR the same for all ages?

Not all CPR techniques are the same for all ages. Depending on the victim’s age, different approaches must be taken to ensure the CPR is effective and doesn’t cause more harm than good. For example, performing CPR on a baby is vastly different than performing it on an adult. At Simple CPR, students can learn about the different CPR techniques for each age group, from infants to older people.

  • Are there any differences between CPR in adults and children, and infants?

When performing CPR, it’s important to understand the differences between treating adults and children/infants. Chest compressions on a child should be done with only one hand instead of the two you’d typically use on an adult. Additionally, using a gentler breathing technique is crucial when performing CPR on a child. Only use two fingers instead of your entire hand when treating an infant. These differences can save a life in an emergency. And if the child does not respond after you perform five cycles of CPR, call 911 immediately.

  • What does CAB of CPR mean?

A significant change made by the American Heart Association (AHA) in 2010 was the rearrangement of the steps in CPR. The traditional A-B-C method, which involved checking the airway and breathing before starting chest compressions, was replaced with the C-A-B technique. Chest compressions now come first, followed by the airway and breathing checks. While both methods can be effective, the new C-A-B approach is believed to increase the chances of survival for those experiencing cardiac arrest.

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