CPR can help keep the brain and other vital organs alive during cardiac arrest by pushing oxygen-filled blood throughout the body. High-quality chest compressions are the most important part of CPR and have the biggest impact on survival of cardiac arrest.
So, it’s crucial that you practice proper hand placement when performing chest compressions.
CPR hand placement for adults
For adults, position your hands over the lower half of the sternum. Follow these chest compression steps to ensure you are positioned correctly:
- Place the heel of one hand on the center (middle) of the victim’s chest (which is the lower half of the sternum).
- Place the heel of the other hand directly on top of the first.
- Lift or interlace your fingers.
- Position your shoulders directly over your hands.
- Keep your arms straight.
- Push straight down (aim for a compression depth of at least 2 inches).
Allow the chest to fully rise between compressions. And avoid lifting your hands completely off the chest.
Push hard and fast until you see obvious signs of life or until EMS arrives and takes over.