Adelaide’s #1 in Nationally Accredited First Aid Courses

Adelaide’s #1 in Nationally Accredited First Aid Courses

CPR for Adults Resource page

If you’re in an emergency CALL 000 

Follow our step-by-step guides below for how to perform CPR on an adult or child over (8 years old). 

We also have specific guides on CPR for children, infants and during pregnancy.

*The information below does not replace First Aid training. *

Before beginning CPR


Make sure that you have followed the DRSABCD action plan. This ensures that you have performed the vital steps before beginning CPR. 

How to perform CPR on an adult or child over 8

After having the DRSABCD plan, follow the steps below. 

Chest Compressions

  1. Kneel beside the casualty and place them on a firm surface, preferably on their back.
  2.  Place the heel of one hand in the centre of the chest, with the other hand interlocked on top. 
  3. Straighten your arm and position yourself over the top of the casualty’s chest (as seen below). 
Chest Compressions

4. Use the weight of your body and push your hands down to roughly 1/3 of the depth of their chest. 

5. Release the pressure and push down again. 

After 30 compressions, give 2 rescue breaths

6. To ensure that the patient is in the correct position, place one hand on their forehead and the other hand under their chin to tilt their head back.

7. Pinch their nose with your thumb and index finger and use your other hand to open their mouth. 


CPR Airway Check

8. Take a breath and form a seal around the patient’s mouth. Blow for about one second and look for the chest to rise and fall. Then give a second breath. 

CPR Mouth to Mouth

Repeat the process and aim to do 5 cycles per 2 minutes. If you get tired, swap with someone else every 5 cycles. 

Using an AED (Defibrillator)

Most businesses house an AED, so if an AED is available, use it.

If an AED is available, attach the pads as demonstrated in the picture below and follow its instructions. 

The AED looks at the heart rhythm every 2 minutes and may deliver a shock to the patient. It will tell you before it does so. 

In between every analysis- keep performing CPR. 


When to stop CPR

Only stop CPR if one of the following has occurred: 

  • The person returns to breathing normally
  • It is impossible to continue
  • A health care professional takes over
  • The situation is too dangerous to keep going

If the patient starts breathing

If the patient is breathing, continue to monitor them and place them in the recovery position, as shown below: 

Recovery position for CPR

Looking for more information?

Click here to access our printable guide to adult CPR

Click here to book into an available course nearby