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The emergency lifesaving procedure known as CPR is used when someone’s heart stops beating. If it is done swiftly enough, it can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s survival rate.

There are many ways of doing CPR, and in this article we will cover a typical three types of CPR techniques, followed by a further three CPR methods that relate to a patient’s age.

The CPR procedure typically involves a combination of chest compressions and artificial ventilation. When done correctly, CPR can maintain normal brain function, restore blood circulation, keep breathing normal, and allay oxygen loss. For these reasons, CPR can be a critical life-safer to people who have become unresponsive and are breathing abnormally or not at all.

There are several CPR techniques which differ slightly in their strengths, how they are done, and where they can be used appropriately.

What are the Main 3 Types of CPR Techniques?

Interposed Abdominal Compression CPR

Otherwise known as IAC CPR, this technique requires three people to perform. One person acts as the abdominal compressor, another the chest compressor, and the final person doing the ventilations. Interposed Abdominal Compression CPR combines standard chest compressions with alternating abdominal compressions, helping diastolic aortic pressure and venous return. This process improves overall coronary perfusion pressure and normalizes blood flow to the other vital organs.

Open-Chest CPR

Open-chest CPR is a much more invasive form of CPR in which the heart is accessed through a thoracotomy. A thoracotomy is a small surgical procedure in which a cut is made between the ribs in order to gain access to the chest area, in this case to access the heart, hence the term ‘open-chest’.

With direct physical access to the heart, the rescuer can then physically massage the organ instead of doing traditional closed-chest cardiac compressions.

High-Frequency Chest Compressions

Someone doing chest compressions is the typical thing that first comes to mind when people think of CPR. It helps to improve the chances of resuscitation for a patient undergoing cardiac arrest.

High-frequency chest compressions involves putting a hand or hands on a patient’s chest (depending on their size and age) and rhythmically compressing the chest at a consistent high speed (generally at least 120 compressions per minute for a typical adult) to try to restart the heart. There is actually limited evidence that this high-frequency version works better than a more standard rate.

The 2010 AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC recommend doing compressions at a rate of at least 100/min. However, trained medical personnel can consider doing higher frequencies as an alternative.

Other Types of CPR

In addition to these 3, there are another three types of CPR techniques to be used depending on the age of the patient:

Adult CPR

Before doing anything to an adult patient, you should call 911 or whatever your local emergency number is. Doing so means that proper medical experts will be on their way while you begin with CPR and means that if more advanced care is needed, the patient will be able to be handed over sooner and will likely have a higher survival rate. On top of that, if you are not trained in CPR, calling 911 means that someone will be able to guide you in the process, maximizing your chances of doing it successfully as a layperson.

Hands-on CPR on an adult should be done through a succession of hard presses (compressions) on the chest at a rate of 100-120 presses per minute. Make sure that the chest is being compressed by at least two inches with each compression and is allowed to rise again fully between presses.

Child CPR

CPR techniques suited to children (AKA paediatric resuscitation protocols) should be done on children from one year of age up to the age of puberty, or on anyone weighing less than 121 pounds.

Again, make sure that you call 911 before beginning CPR on a child or young person for the same reasons listed above. Performing CPR on children can be a bit more delicate since their bodies are not as robust as an adult’s. Be cautious when doing rescue breaths because a child’s airway is relatively fragile, and make sure that the head doesn’t get tilted too far back.

If the child is quite small, only one hand should be used for compressions. If they’re bigger, then using two as with an adult is best. However, compression depth should be slightly shallower at 1.5 inches.

The compression to breath ratio for children is the same as it is for adults: 30:2.

Infant CPR

Unlike when working with children or adults, when performing CPR on an infant, you should ideally start immediately and leave calling 911 to someone else if possible. Performing CPR on an infant is even more of a delicate process than doing CPR on a child since their bodies are particularly delicate and flexible, so excess force can cause damage.

When doing CPR on a baby and providing compressions, just two fingers should be placed on the center of the chest. The compressions should be about an inch and a half deep and done at a rate of 30 compressions to two rescue breaths.

The rescue breaths should be very gentle and extra care needs to be taken not to tip the head back too far. The American Red Cross and National CPR Association instructs that the head should be gently tilted just to the point that the baby’s nose appears to be “sniffing the air”.

Don’t use the full force of your big lungs to expel air as you can overwhelm a baby’s much smaller lungs. Instead, use your cheeks to hold breath and gently puff air into the infant’s mouth and nose.

Consider Taking a Course

CPREdu has been committed to saving lives and providing vital information that betters health outcomes for years now.

We offer various courses where you can learn all about these CPR techniques and more in full detail and with plenty of hands-on experience.

Getting CPR or First-Aid certified is fun, easy, and could make you a hero one day.

Call 925-335-6076 to book your CPR class with us today!