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The Do’s And Don’ts Of CPR

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One of the key areas of first aid is cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). CPR is an emergency procedure used to kick-start a person’s heart that stops beating.


CPR is an emergency lifesaving procedure used to restore the breathing and heartbeat of a person in a cardiac emergency. It involves chest compression and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (rescue breaths), which helps circulate blood and oxygen within the body. It is a technique that keeps the brain and vital organs alive.

Other emergencies that may require CPR include choking (suffocation), electrical shock, smoke inhalation, and near-drowning. Performing this lifesaving technique on time is vital in improving a person’s chances of survival.

Although the optimal approach may vary depending on the responder, the victim, and the availability of resources, the fundamental challenge is to achieve early and effective CPR. Given this, everyone needs to learn the proper ways of resuscitation.

CPR Do’s And Don’ts

Administering CPR on a cardiac arrest victim who may not be breathing or unresponsive can significantly increase their chance of survival. While it may seem overwhelming or confusing to untrained individuals, this technique is relatively easy. 

Here are CPR tips on what to do and what NOT to do.

Do Ask For The Casualty’s Permission

If the victim is unconscious, the first responder must receive expressed consent before approaching the victim.

Australia has Good Samaritan laws that present legal protection to bystanders who provide voluntary lifesaving assistance. To qualify under this law, the responder must ask permission first. If the victim is unresponsive or cannot reply, consent is implied. 

Do Roll The Unconscious Casualty In The Recovery Position

If the victim is unconscious but is breathing and has no other life-threatening conditions, it is best to put them in the recovery position. Doing so will keep the airway clear and open. It also ensures that any fluid, including vomit, won’t cause the person to choke.

Always put the victim in the recovery position unless there is a suspected spine or neck injury.

Do Call Emergency Services

Call Triple Zero (000) immediately before administering CPR.

If the person is not breathing and does not have a pulse, administer resuscitation for a minute and call emergency services

Do Use A Defibrillator

If the responder has CPR and AED training and a defibrillator is available nearby, use the device after establishing the victim’s safety.

The defibrillator will assess whether there is a need for a shock. If so, the device has built-in prompts that will provide instructions on when to press the button. Remember not to touch the person while being shocked. 

Do NOT Delay The Performance Of CPR

Every delay in the performance of CPR can mean devastation loss in the brain and overall body function. The chance to avert severe damages due to lack of oxygen is one of the reasons why bystanders should be able to give effective and uninterrupted CPR.

Do NOT Perform Rescue Breathing (If Untrained)

If the first responder is untrained in CPR or is worried about giving rescue breathes, it is best to do the hands-only CPR. Perform an uninterrupted chest compression of 100-120 per minute until the paramedics arrive. 

Do not attempt to provide rescue breaths without proper training. Doing so could block the person’s airways and only worsen the situation.

Do NOT Pause Excessively In Between Compressions

Long pauses during the performance of CPR have a negative association with lower survival and decreased VF termination rate.

The termination of ventricular fibrillation is linked with the pause duration. Applying strategies such as short pauses may improve the overall outcome.

Do Not Administer Excessive Ventilation

Too much force applied in a rescue breath can cause a blockage within the person’s airway. To avoid excessive ventilation, bystanders must maintain a ventilation rate of 8 to 10 rescue breaths per minute during CPR. 

CPR Training

One should keep an eye on many incorrect actions when doing CPR. Anyone can learn how to effectively perform this lifesaving technique via online or in-person CPR training

Hands-on training provided by a registered provider is the best way to gain the skills and confidence needed to step up and help in an emergency. 

First Aid Courses Tasmania provides nationally recognised first aid, CPR, and childcare courses to students across Australia. Call us at (08) 8382 4677 or email to learn more. 

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