In this situation, the immediate administration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by a rescuer
using correct procedures greatly increases the chances of a victim's survival. To be effective, CPR must
be started within 4 minutes of the onset of cardiac arrest. CPR consists of external heart compression and
artificial ventilation. This compression is performed on the outside of the chest, and the lungs are
ventilated either by mouth-to-mouth or mouth-to-nose techniques. The victim should be lying on a firm
A rescuer who has not been properly trained should not attempt CPR.
Everyone who works around electricity should be trained. (To learn CPR, consult a
hospital corpsman.) Improperly done, CPR can cause serious damage. Therefore, it
is never practiced on a healthy individual for training purposes; a training aid is
ONE RESCUER TECHNIQUE.If a cardiac arrest is not witnessed, the rescuer must not assume
that an arrest has occurred solely because the victim is lying on the floor and appears to be unconscious.
First, try to arouse the victim. You can try shaking the victim's shoulders gently to obtain a response.
Next, quickly check vital signs; if there is no response, apply artificial ventilation. Establish an open
airway and ventilate the victim four times. Check the carotid (neck) pulse as shown in figure 1-1. If no
pulse is felt and there are no visible signs of breathing, start CPR immediately.
Figure 1-1.Feeling for the carotid pulse
To start external cardiac compression, place the victim on the back, establish an open airway, and
kneel at right angles to the victim's body. Then locate the victim's sternum (breastbone). You have a
choice of two methods of doing this. One method is to bare the chest and locate the sternum by drawing
an imaginary line from one nipple to the other to identify the proper area of the sternum, which is
darkened in figure 1-2. The other method is to locate the lower tip of the sternum with the index and
middle fingers, placing the heels of your hands above your fingers in the darkened area.