CPR common mistakes: What Blunders Are You Likely to Make When Performing CPR?

The human brain can only stay without oxygen for 4-6 minutes after which the victim may experience irreversible brain damage and ultimately, death.

CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is a rescue procedure that is carried out on victims of cardiac arrests and other injuries to save their lives.

 In essence, it involves slowing down the rate of brain damage by triggering the flow of blood into the brain and body.

CPR helps to revive victims whose hearts have failed and who are not breathing.

It ensures that the victim has enough oxygen supply in the brain and other critical body organs.

When administered early and accurately, it can add significant time for a victim’s life as you wait for medical personnel to arrive at the scene. In contrast CPR common mistakes may increase risks.

Cardiac arrest happens when the heart fails to beat caused by the irregularity of electrical impulses in the heart; a process known as arrhythmia.

Arrhythmia is a malfunction in the heart’s capability to beat in a regular pattern. When this happens, the heart shuts down, and blood fails to reach vital organs of the body, thus causing organ failure.

Annually, about 10,000 cases of cardiac arrest are reported to occur at places of work. 92% of them die before they arrive in a hospital according to the American Heart Association.

In order to boost up the survival of victims of cardiac arrest, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, AHA and Redcross recommend that automated external defibrillators be used besides CPR.

The device is small, affordable, and portable, thus helping fix arrhythmia instantly and restoring the healthy hearts beat.

If someone is experiencing cardiac arrest, defibrillation is the ultimate solution to restore a regular heartbeat.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is not enough to restore a heart failure. It is only a temporary solution to help in maintaining a constant supply of oxygen to the vital organs and the brain.

The treatment of cardiac arrest entails CPR, defibrillation, and drugs.

Note; even when you doubt that your skills are not enough to revive an individual, it is better to do what you can rather than standing and doing nothing.

The decision is up to you; what you choose determines whether the person lives or dies. Choose to help and avoid the most common CPR mistakes.

CAB: The Approach to Quick CPR Training

The process of CPR can be summarized into three procedures, known as the CAB method. They include:

  • Chest compression
  • Airway – clearing the airway
  • Breathing

AHA Exposes the Common mistakes in CPR

We are bound to make mistakes when initiating the CPR procedure. The following are a few errors you should avoid when administering first aid, especially CPR:

Avoid becoming a victim too: take a glance at your surroundings to verify the causes of the accident or attack before doing CPR. This is important in situations where you are dealing with victims of drowning, electrocution, and poisoning

Remember to call for professional help: before commencing CPR, remember to call for medical support since most people give up performing CPR after a few minutes.

Don’t ignore CPR and start attending on minor injuries: Each minute without chest compressions to restore the flow of blood in the body decreases the chances of survival for the victim.

Don’t prioritize rescue breath over chest compression: if you are untrained in executing mouth to mouth, it is essential that you avoid it and carry on with chest compression only.

Compressions should be not too slow and not too fast: the standard protocol is 100 chest compressions in a minute. Make sure that you follow it to the letter.

Avoid bending your elbows: keep your elbows straight with fingers locked together so that you can be able to apply enough pressure when carrying out chest compressions

Exert enough pressure on chest compressions: Don’t worry about hurting the victim. A crack in the chest is not a sign that you are hurting them or putting them in more danger than they are in.

For adults, the compressions should be 2 inches in and 1 inch for small children

Don’t forget to tilt the head: If the airway is blocked when you are giving rescue breaths, their won’t be enough air reaching the victim’s lungs thus less oxygenated blood.

Check whether the airway is open and put the victims head in a tilt position using the method head tilt/chin lift.

Use a pistol grip to position and hold the jaw with one hand and use the other to push back the forehead.

Take a glance after every breath to check whether there are rise and fall in the chest cavity, which indicates breathing. If it fails, adjust the victims head while being careful not to twist their neck.

Perform rescue breaths if you have the expertise to do so: The Royal life-saving WA and the Australian Resuscitation Guidelines encourage you to use rescue breaths when performing CPR.

The blood contains limited oxygen levels, and CPR means that the victim may soon lack oxygenated blood.

For a victim of drowning, chest compressions will only be pumping de-oxygenated blood around the body. In infants and small children, there is a high oxygen demand in their bodies and low blood volume, thus making rescue breaths essential for revival.

For every 30 compressions, you are required to provide two rescue breaths.

Avoid leaning on the victim: it is equally essential to allow the victim’s chest to recoil completely as it is in doing compressions.

Avoid leaning on the victim you are trying to revive. It may seem like an obvious thing, but since CPR entails an intense physical work executed for some time, you can be tempted to lean on the victim when you tire.

Despite getting tired, it is vital that you keep the chest compressions steady and accurate.


CPR is a rescue procedure responsible for saving the lives of cardiac arrest victims and other injuries that might need resuscitation. It is therefore important that you make no blunders when you saving a life since tables may turn sooner than you think.

The stress and impact of the situation can be overwhelming, especially for bystanders or passers-by. Avoid common CPR mistakes and get yourself together to save a victim without creating more trouble.