Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving technique used when someone's heartbeat or breathing stops. CPR involves pushing hard and fast on the center of the chest and giving breaths to help get oxygen into the body.

Types of CPR

According to the American Heart Association, there are two commonly known versions of CPR for adults and teens:

  • Health care providers and people trained in CPR should use conventional CPR. This involves chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breathing, with two breaths for every 30 compressions. Rescuers should use 100 to 120 compressions per minutem to a depth of at least two inches for an average adult.
  • The general public or bystanders should use compression-only CPR, also called Hands-Only CPR. Hands-Only CPR is CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths. It is recommended for use by people who see a teen or adult suddenly collapse in any place other than a hospital.

For children and babies, the American Red Cross recommends performing compressions with less strength:

  • To perform CPR on a child, place the heel of one hand in the center of the child’s chest, with your other hand on top and your fingers interlaced and off the child’s chest.
  • For a small child, perform one-handed CPR. Use the heel of one hand in the center of the child's chest.
  • For a baby, perform compressions using two thumbs side by side on the center of the baby's chest. Alternatively, use two fingers held parallel to the chest.

Free CPR Courses

The Health Department recommends CPR training for all New Yorkers. Find a course through one of these organizations:

Note that dates, times and locations are subject to change. For more information on CPR or CPR classes, please contact the organization.