CPR Hand Placement
(adult, children and infants)
How to Position your Hands for Chest Compressions?

Key Takeaway

  • The American Heart Association guidelines emphasize the importance of high-quality chest compressions to ensure successful CPR following cardiac arrest.
  • Knowing the correct hand placement for CPR is essential to perform this lifesaving technique effectively.
  • If the hands are not placed correctly, the chest compressions may not be deep enough to circulate oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.
  • You can use either or two of your hands when performing CPR, depending on the age and size of the victim.
  • A constant non-dominant hand position of a single rescuer may unintentionally decrease the quality of chest compressions.
  • For adults and children above 8 years old, use two hands in the center of the chest between the nipples.
  • For younger children aged 1-8, use one hand in the center of the chest between the nipples.
  • For infants 12 months or younger, position your 2 fingers in the center of the chest.
  • The rate of chest compressions is 100-120 compressions per minute.
  • According to the American Heart Association, if you’re not CPR certified and are not confident in giving rescue breathing or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, stick to hands-only CPR.

Contents

CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is an important life-saving technique that can be used to revive someone who has stopped breathing or whose heart has stopped beating. Knowing the correct CPR hand placement is essential to perform this lifesaving technique effectively. This article will discuss the proper hand placement for performing CPR and how to use it correctly.

 

Why is hand placement important in CPR?

Hand placement is an important part of performing CPR because it ensures that the abdominal compressions are being applied in the right place and with the correct amount of force. The American Heart Association and Emergency Cardiovascular Care guidelines emphasize the importance of high-quality chest compressions to ensure successful CPR following cardiac arrest.

These guidelines are written in a manner that is understandable to both laypersons and healthcare professionals alike. When performing CPR, it is essential to ensure that the chest compressions are deep enough to circulate oxygen-rich blood throughout the body's vital organs. If the hand placement is incorrect, the chest compressions may not be effective and could cause further harm to the person receiving CPR.

 

Does CPR hand placement affect the quality of compressions?

Yes. Hand placement affects the quality of CPR chest compressions. If the hands are not placed correctly, the chest compressions may not be deep enough to circulate oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. Additionally, if the hands are too close together or too far apart, it can cause uneven pressure on the chest and could further harm the person receiving CPR. It is important to ensure that the hands are placed correctly to maximize the effectiveness of chest compressions.

In addition, the effects of dominant and non-dominant hand positions on Emergency Cardiovascular Care quality have been studied in both professional healthcare providers and lay rescuers in accordance with CPR guidelines. Research has found that when a single rescuer switches their non-dominant hand position during CPR, the proportion of non-dominant hand position-CPR decreases, resulting in less fatigue and improved chest compression quality.

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How many hands should be used when giving chest compressions?

You can use either or two of your hands when performing CPR. Using both hands for adults and children over 8 years old is advised by the American Heart Association, as this will provide a deeper and more effective chest compression. You can use one hand instead for smaller children aged 1 to 8 years old. Infants must only be compressed using two fingers due to their fragile nature. Excessive pressure may lead to injury or organ damage.

 

Where to place your hands during CPR?

It is important to ensure that the hand placement for chest compressions is placed correctly to maximize the effectiveness of chest compressions. To ensure optimal results when performing chest compressions, place your hands in the center of the chest, slightly below the nipple line. This will reduce the risk of broken ribs while still providing enough pressure to facilitate blood circulation.

 

How to position your hands when giving compressions?

In addition to using the correct number of hands and/or fingers when doing external chest compressions, hand positioning is also important and changes slightly depending on the age and size of the person you're helping.

adult cpr hand placement

Adult CPR Hand Placement

When performing CPR on an adult, begin by placing the heel of your hand on the center of the chest, just below the nipples. Then place your other hand on top of the other hand. The palms of both hands should be flat against the chest, and fingers should be interlaced. Use both your arm strength and the strength of your upper body to do effective chest compressions.

To perform high-quality CPR chest compressions, press down firmly to a chest compression depth of at least 2-2.4 inches, and the chest compression rate is 100-120 beats per minute. It is important to ensure that the chest compressions are deep and fast enough to circulate oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.

The proper CPR ratio is 30:2 if you are CPR-certified. If you’re not certified and are not confident in giving rescue breaths or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, stick to hands-only CPR.

child cpr hand placement

Child CPR Hand Placement

When performing CPR on a child between the ages of 1 and 8, place the heel of one hand on the center of the chest, just below the nipples. The palm of your hand should be flat against the chest. Perform chest compressions as you would with an adult, but leave your other hand off the chest. Be gentle with the younger children, carefully monitoring how deep the compressions go. The chest compression depth should be 2 inches or about 1/3 the depth of the chest. Chest compression rates are the same with adults, which is 100-120 compressions per minute.

For children above 8 years old (preteens and teenagers), you can use both of your hands and follow the CPR hand placement for adults as long as their bodies are big enough for it.

infant cpr hand placement

Infant CPR Hand Placement

When performing infant CPR, it is essential to be cautious and controlled. Position your fingers in the center of the chest, around the nipple line, in the same manner, you would with children and adults. Compress the chest using two fingers only, pushing down to a compression depth of 1.5 inches or at least one-third of the chest. Exerting too much pressure can lead to harm.

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How to Perform CPR Correctly

To perform CPR correctly, it is important to follow the steps outlined below:

1. Call 911 and get help if available.

2. Check for signs of life, such as breathing or movement.

3. If there are no signs of life, begin chest compressions by placing your hands in the correct position (as described above).

4. Push down firmly on the chest at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute.

5. Continue until the emergency response arrives for advanced life support or the person shows signs of life, such as normal breathing.

 

How to become CPR certified?

Becoming CPR certified is an important step for anyone who wants to be prepared to help someone in a medical emergency. According to the American Heart Association, if you’re not certified and are not confident in giving rescue breathing or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, stick to hands-only CPR.

To become CPR certified, you must take a course from an accredited provider and pass the certification exam. The course will cover topics such as recognizing signs of cardiac arrest, performing chest compressions and rescue breaths, and using an automated external defibrillator (AED).

 

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