CPR by Age

Proverbs 1:5 “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance…”

Would you know what to do if a loved one, friend or stranger stopped breathing and lay unconscious? You check for a pulse only to find it shallow or no pulse at all?  Most of us wouldn’t know what to do – most of us think we won’t ever have to.  We don’t expect emergencies to happen and we certainly don’t want to be on the receiving end.

But the truth is, we won’t always know where God will place us or why, but He may call on us to be His hands and feet at any time — as good stewards we should want to be as prepared as we can. If we wait until the call for battle, we might be too late.

One of the things we can do to be prepared is to learn how to respond in an emergency, prayerfully while taking action.  This article will focus on CPR for infants, children, and adults which will vary slightly but urgently from one another.

We’ll start with performing adult CPR and below it are instructions for CPR on children and infants.  I’ve laid it out in this order because the basics are similar, but must be modified for child and infant safety.

NOTE:  infants: newborn to 1 year of age / Children: toddler to puberty age / Adult: puberty to adulthood


ADULT CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation)

In any emergency, always call 911 FIRST *

*There are steps to follow BEFORE you can determine whether the victim is actually in need of CPR or NOT



Make sure the scene is safe – for example from water, which could cause a slip and fall – you can’t help someone if you’re out cold, too!  Also check to make sure there aren’t any dogs, etc. that can attack you.

You must begin CPR before paramedics arrive!  Check for signs of life as quickly as possible.

Paramedics have 6-8 minutes to arrive, but without a heartbeat it will take the brain only 4-6 minutes to start dying — breathing and chest compressions are done to save the brain – the body is useless without the brain.

  • If the adult appears to be unconscious, tap them to see if they’ll awaken. Do not take more than 10 seconds to determine if someone is dead or alive!
  • If there’s no response, check to see if the person is breathing by feeling under their nose or mouth with your hand or holding a small mirror to the area. You can also watch to see if their chest rises and/or feel if the abdomen rises, visually or by hand.
  • If they’re unconscious but breathing, turn them on their side so they don’t vomit and choke. Try to wake them up again by tapping the person on their shoulder and speaking to them. Breathing is a good sign.
  • If the person is not breathing, check for a heartbeat. You can listen but its best to check for a pulse. Do this by placing your two fingers mid-way down the throat then slide gently over to the side of the throat. Be careful not to accidentally block the person’s airway!
  • If there’s a pulse, you only need to breathe for them – compressions should not be necessary unless the pulse is lost. Plug the nose, give one large breath through the mouth, and check for breathing by seeing if the chest rises or the person breathes on their own. If the person isn’t breathing on their own, check the pulse again.
  • NOTE: When breathing for the person, look to see if their chest is rising. If not, there might be an obstruction in the airway. If the obstruction is visible, you may be able to use a sweeping motion with your index finger to move it out of the way, but be careful not to lodge it in further. If you cannot see the obstruction it may be too deep. In this case you may have to do an EMERGENCY TRACHEOTOMY. * CALL 911 FOR ASSISTANCE BEFORE PERFORMING THIS PROCEDURE! *
  • A Tracheotomy is a temporary incision made in the windpipe (trachea) created to relieve an obstruction to breathing. The incision would be made just above the collar bone (and well below the vocal cords or throat center). This can be done gently with the tubing of an empty pen, or straw, or just a small incision with a knife to free the airway enough for oxygen to pass through.


  • Remember C-A-B = Chest compressions, Airway, Breathe – you will follow this order during CPR if the person is not breathing and there is no pulse.
  • To check for a pulse on an adult or a child, place two fingers at mid-neck then slide to the side a few centimeters, that’s where that artery is. BE CAREFUL not to accidentally block someone’s airway!
  • To check for a pulse on an infant, the pulse will be located on the INSIDE of the UPPER ARM (between the elbow and the shoulder)
  • You will do 5 chest compressions to the rhythm of the song “Staying Alive” – please note, the compressions must be adequate in order to pump the blood through the body.
  • For an adult, using 2-hand compressions, place hands at sternum (breastbone) toward the heart; compressions should be at 2-2.5 inches depth using both hands – on an adult you may hear ribs cracking under pressure
  • For a child, using 1-hand compressions place hands at sternum (breastbone); compressions should be no more than 2 inches depth – you will not hear ribs cracking under pressure
  • For an infant, use 2 fingers or 2 thumbs for compressions, place fingers at center of chest, each compression should be about 1.5 inches – you will not hear ribs cracking
  • Tilt the head back by gently pushing on the forehead
  • Perform 30 compressions, then give 2 breaths – do this for 5 cycles.
  • The victim should receive about 100-150 compressions per minute
  • Repeat until the paramedics arrive. Stop if the victim begins breathing on their own.

To Recap:

Are you ok?

Call 911

Pulse: Dead / alive

Check Breathing


30 Compressions

OPEN airway

Give 2 breaths


Do 5 cycles in a row!

Prayer from scripture:

Psalm 91:1-16

1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  2 This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust him.  3 For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.  4 He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.  5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day.  6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday.  7 Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.  8 (You’ve) open(ed) our eyes, and see how the wicked are punished.  9 If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter,  10 no evil will conquer you, no plague will come near your home.  11 For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.  12 They will hold you up with their hands, so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.  13 You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!  14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name.  15 When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.  16 I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation (and protection).” Amen



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