5 Components of Chest Compressions You Should Know
What are the Components of Chest Compressions?
There are several things to consider when delivering chest compressions to a victim. These factors are crucial in ensuring that chest pushes effectively resuscitate a victim. So it’s important to know what each one does before diving in.

The following are essential components of chest compressions.
5 Components of Chest Compressions
Lifesavers must follow best practices when issuing chest pushes to a victim. Learn the five crucial components of chest pushes and how they affect CPR quality.
1.      Compressions should be delivered fast at 100-120 per minute.
Your goal is to deliver fast compressions at a rate of 100-120 per minute. This will ensure you provide adequate pressure and oxygen into your patient’s circulatory system. The faster you perform the compressions, the better your outcome will be for both patient and rescuer.
2.      Compression depth is essential and should be done at about two inches for adults and one-and-a-half inches for infants.
Compression depth is essential and should be done at about two inches for adults and one-and-a-half inches for infants.

The compression device should be parallel to the sternum, with a ruler pressed firmly against it. This allows you to measure how deepyour chest compression is and how far down into your rib cage it goes.
3.      A chest compression fraction of 80% is better than 50% in terms of survival and neurological outcomes.
The chest compression fraction is the ratio of time spent compressing the chest to the total time of a CPR cycle. It’s often expressed as a percentage, so if you have 80% compression, that means that every second you’re pushing down on someone’s chest, they’re being compressed by 80%.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that healthcare providers use an 80% compression rate during adult resuscitation attempts.

The AHA bases this recommendation on several studies showing improved survival rates for patients with low-fraction compressions compared to those using high-fraction rates. However, there are some caveats:

When used correctly—i.e., with enough force applied throughout—any level of CPR should provide adequate blood flow through vessels that are open at least temporarily.

Therefore, no one can say definitively whether any particular level will provide better outcomes than another simply because someone has studied them both in isolation from one another.

Plus, the AHA’s guideline assumes that the chest cavity is open to allow adequate blood inflow and outflow without mechanical assistance; however, many people who experience cardiac arrest may not have their chests open enough to allow this possibility.
4.      Chest recoil is important to reduce intrathoracic pressure and increase venous return, but it is often overlooked.
In the decompression phase of chest compressions, the chest wall naturally moves from its relaxed to the contracted state. This movement is called chest recoil, and it’s crucial to reduce intrathoracic pressure and increase venous return during CPR.

Chest recoil occurs when you release your hands from their position around the patient’s torso. The force of this movement causes blood to pool at the bottom of your lungs, which facilitates venous return by increasing cardiac output and decreasing right atrial pressure.
5.  Ventilations
Ventilation is one of the most crucial components of chest compressions. It should be delivered with a BVM device with a PEEP valve at a rate of 8-10 per minute if you’re not ventilating with a mask or endotracheal tube.
Your Chest Compression Techniques Can Have a Big Impact on Patient Outcome
So why do the chest compression components matter?

Remember, your chest compressions should deliver oxygen and send a shock wave to your patient’s heart. Whether or not you succeed in resuscitating a patient depends on several factors, but CPR quality can have a significant impact on patient outcome.
4 Chest Compression Mistakes to Avoid
From chest compression fraction to ventilations, these 5 components of chest compressions matter to the CPR process. Remember, you must do everything correctly for the procedure to be successful.

CPR students learning the components of chest compressions and practicing how to perform it.

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The following are some of the most common chest compression mistakes that can lead to a failed attempt at CPR:

1.      Not using enough force

When performing chest compressions, you should use at least 100 pounds of pressure per square inch (PSI).

If you don’t have enough strength to bring blood back into the heart, then you might not be able to achieve a good seal between your hands and chest wall. This can cause an ineffective cycle of compressions and ventilations, resulting in decreased oxygenation of tissues and organs.

2.      Not checking for breathing

When performing CPR, you must check for breathing every two minutes or so throughout the entire process. If you do not check for breathing, you risk delaying proper ventilation because air could bleed in your lungs due to an incomplete seal during chest compressions.

3.      Not allowing time for ventilation

The rescuer should allow time for ventilation after each cycle of chest compressions before beginning another cycle. Even if it does not seem like you have enough time, give it just a few minutes and then begin again.

4.      Using too much force when putting pressure on the chest

Just enough force should be applied to the chest wall for comfort and ease of breathing. Too much force will cause pain and discomfort and may lead to injury.

How Does Chest Compression Save a Life?

When someone has a heart attack, the heart muscle loses the ability to pump blood effectively. The result is that the blood pressure drops, which can be fatal if not treated immediately.

Chest compression can save a life by helping to raise blood pressure and improve circulation in the brain and other vital organs. It involves pushing hard against someone’s chest with your hands, or a small device called an automated external defibrillator (AED).

Studies have shown that chest compression is more effective than mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

When used immediately after a cardiac arrest, chest compression can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.

More benefits of chest compressions

Chest compression also provides other benefits to victims of cardiac arrest:

  • Protection from brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen during CPR;
  • Increased blood flow to the heart and brain; and
  • Improved perfusion (blood flow) to vital organs like the brain and heart muscle.

The technique was first used in 1896 by William Beaumont during animal experiments. Since then, it has been used as a life-saving technique by emergency responders and first responders. Today, AEDs are common at public events like concerts and sporting events because they’re easy to use and don’t require any training.

The theory behind chest compression is that when you press hard against someone’s chest, it forces blood back into their heart where it belongs — which can help them recover more quickly if they’re having trouble breathing or their heart has stopped beating.

The Role of CPR Training in Improving Chest Compression Quality

The quality of chest compressions is essential to CPR AED Certification. The quality of your compressions is directly related to whether or not they’re effective in stopping a heart attack.

CPR is a complex skill that requires careful attention to detail, but the basic steps are easy to understand and perform correctly. We’ve broken down the process into five simple steps:

  • Step 1: Clear the airway by lifting the chin and tilting the head back so you can see below your chin.
  • Step 2: Open your mouth wide and place both hands firmly on your chest with fingertips pointing toward each other at about shoulder width apart (the width between your thumb tips).
  • Step 3: Place both thumbs on top of each other and press hard into your sternum (the middle part of your breastbone) while simultaneously applying pressure with your forearms spread out against your chest wall.

Repeat this step until you feel resistance or hear an “unconscious” sound from your patient’s airway. While doing so, remember to consider the five components and avoid common chest compression mistakes that affect CPR quality.

Last Words on the Components of Chest Compressions

There you have it. Every health care provider should know these are the most common and effective chest compression techniques, but there are many more.

The key takeaway is that each person has a unique set of values, preferences, and knowledge that they bring to their work—including how they deliver compressions.

We hope this article helps give you an idea of what those values might be so that when your chest goes into cardiac arrest or needs CPR (or even just help), you can use them wisely!