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Once there is oxygen in the lungs, it automatically enters the blood. Normally, the heart pushes all the blood round the body. Without the heart, all the blood stays still. We need to try and do the job of the heart, and squeeze all the blood around the body. We do this by using chest compressions.

Find someone who is first aid trained to show you how to do chest compressions- it is really important that they are done properly. You must never do chest compressions on someone who IS breathing as it might confuse their heart - always practice on dolls. Chest compressions should be at 100 to 120 beats per minute, to about 1/3 of the width of the chest (5-6cm). 100bpm is about as fast as you sing the chorus Nellie the Elephant or the same as the introduction to Rock DJ (Robbie Williams).

The 10 steps of chest compressions:
1. Put your arm out infront of you, with your fingers spaced apart.
2. Put your other hand on top of this hand, and bend your fingers back (the posh word for this is interdigitate)
3. Bend your wrist back
4. Kneel at 90degrees to the casualty

5. Put the heel of your hand on the lower bit of the breast bone
6. Keep your elbows straight
7. Push straight down, fairly hard
8. Gently lift up


Chest Compressions
9. Do this 30 times
10. At 100 - 120 bpm

Now we’ve made all the oxygen go to the brain, there’s none left in the lungs, so we’ve got to breathe for the patient. Find someone to show you how to do this, and look at this page to remind you.

After we’ve put lots of oxygen into the lungs, we need to send it up to the brain again. You’ve guessed it...back to chest compressions!!!

Chest compressions used to be slower, but the new (2005) guidelines say they must be harder (5-6cm) and faster (100-120bpm).

You need to carry on, doing 30 compressions, and 2 breaths, until you’re too tired to carry on, or someone else arrives to take over. If you do get tired, don’t be too frightened to tell someone else what to do!!!