Are you preparing for the Basic Life Support Certification Exam? We created this study guide to help you with your BLS test prep. These are the CPR guidelines set by the American Heart Association (AHA).

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AHA CPR Guidelines

Use these guidelines to help you perform Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on someone who’s breathing abnormally or is not breathing at all.

How to Do CPR on Adults

  1. Quickly inspect the scene to be sure it’s safe.
  2. Try to get the victim to respond by yelling, “Are you alright?”
  3. Check the victim’s chest to see if the person is breathing. If the breathing is abnormal or there’s no breathing at all, call 911 immediately.
  4. Spend 5-10 seconds checking the pulse of the carotid on the side of the neck nearest you.
  5. If the victim has no pulse, begin with 30 compressions to the lower half of the chest area near the bottom of the breastbone. Rate needs to be 100-120 compressions per minute.
  6. Use a bag valve or pocket mask to open the victim’s airway with 2 breaths.
  7. Continue with 5 sets of 30 compressions, then give 2 breaths and keep rotating back and forth. Don’t stop until an AED or emergency services arrives or until you’re too exhausted to keep going.

How to Perform CPR on a Child

  1. Quickly inspect the scene to be sure it’s safe.
  2. Try to get the victim to respond by yelling, “Are you alright?”
  3. Check the victim’s chest to see if the person is breathing. If the breathing is abnormal or there’s no breathing at all, call 911 immediately.
  4. Spend 5-10 seconds checking the pulse of the carotid on the side of the neck nearest you.
  5. If the victim has no pulse, begin with 30 compressions to the lower half of the chest area near the bottom of the breastbone using one or both hands. The rate should only no less than 100 compressions per minute.
  6. Use a bag valve or pocket mask to open the victim’s airway with 2 breaths.
  7. Continue with 5 sets of 30 compressions, then give 2 breaths and keep rotating back and forth. Don’t stop until an AED or emergency services arrives or until you’re too exhausted to keep going.

CPR for BLS and ACLS

How to Give CPR to an Infant

  1. Quickly inspect the scene to be sure it’s safe.
  2. Try to get the victim to respond by yelling, “Are you alright?”
  3. Check the victim’s chest to see if the person is breathing. If the breathing is abnormal or there’s no breathing at all, call 911 immediately.
  4. HOWEVER, if no one else is available to immediately start CPR, perform 5 sets of 30 compressions, then give 2 breaths. THEN, CALL 911.
  5. Spend 5-10 seconds checking the brachial pulse on the baby’s upper arm that’s nearest to you.
  6. If the victim has no pulse, begin with 30 compressions on the infant’s chest using 2 fingers. The rate should at least 100 compressions per minute.
  7. Use a bag valve or pocket mask to open the victim’s airway with 2 breaths.
  8. Continue with 5 sets of 30 compressions, then give 2 breaths and keep rotating back and forth. Don’t stop until an AED or emergency services arrives or until you’re too exhausted to keep going.
Learn how to perform CPR on a baby in Atlanta.

Learn how to perform CPR on a baby in Atlanta. Image by agomezfvi from Pixabay

How to Use an AED on an Adult, Child or Infant

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a device used to assist people experiencing a heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest. It analyzes the victim’s heart rhythm. When needed, an AED delivers defibrillation (or electrical shock) to the heart to help get the rhythm back to normal.

  1. Quickly inspect the scene to be sure it’s safe.
  2. Turn the AED device on.
  3. Follow the directions it gives you out loud.
  4. Attach the pads of the AED to the bare chest of the victim.
    1. For Children: Try to use child CPR pads if available.
    2. For Infants: AHA recommends using a manual defibrillator on infants instead of AEDs. If that’s all you have, try to use infant pads instead of AED pads.
  5. Yell loudly the word, “Clear!”
  6. If the device tells you to shock, then clear the victim (make sure no one is touching the person, including you)
  7. Press SHOCK on the AED.
  8. Continue with 5 sets of 30 compressions, then give 2 breaths and keep rotating back and forth. Don’t stop until an AED or emergency services arrives or until you’re too exhausted to keep going.
  9. Once the 5th cycle of CPR is complete, the AED will advise you to repeat steps 4 and 5 (and 6 if needed):
    1. Yell loudly the word, “Clear!”
    2. If the device tells you to shock, then clear the victim (make sure no one is touching the person, including you)
    3. Press SHOCK on the AED.

Get BLS Certification Training in Atlanta, Georgia

MedSmarter doesn’t offer American Heart Association BLS online courses. However, we do provide in-person BLS training on our Suwanee, GA campus in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

Learn an effective way to recognize different types of life-threatening emergencies. You’ll learn how to perform CPR, handle drowning victims or those who are bleeding, choking, and suffering from heart attacks and strokes.

Grasp the art of using an AED from licensed physicians who know how to save lives. Let MedSmarter’s healthcare professionals teach you what you need to know to pass the BLS exam. Click the button below for details.

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