How to perform chest compressions
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How to perform chest compressions

Andrew Parry Senior lecturer in critical care, Faculty of Life Sciences and Education, University of South Wales, Pontypridd, Wales

Rationale and key points

This article outlines the correct and effective technique for performing chest compressions for adults in cardiac arrest. Correct performance of chest compressions relies on various factors that are within the control of the nurse. Therefore, it is essential that nurses have comprehensive knowledge of this vital skill. Techniques that deviate from evidence-based recommendations may lead to an ineffective resuscitation attempt and unfavourable outcomes for patients.

Accurate hand placement on the patient’s chest is vital to ensure the heart is compressed effectively.

Adhering to the recommended depth and rate of compression is fundamental to perfuse the myocardium.

Interruptions to chest compressions should be kept to a minimum.

Reflective activity

Clinical skills articles can help update your practice and ensure it remains evidence based. Apply this article to your practice. Reflect on and write a short account of:

Your chest compression technique and consider if it follows the evidence base provided in this article.

How this article will change your practice.

The need to update your cardiopulmonary resuscitation skills.

Subscribers can upload their reflective accounts at:

Nursing Standard. 30, 12, 34-36. doi: 10.7748/ns.30.12.34.s45


Peer review

All submissions are subject to external double-blind peer-review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Received: 07 August 2014

Accepted: 04 October 2014

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