Bystander CPR/AED Training Initiative
This program was made possible through a grant from Illinois Heart Rescue and Swedish Hospital Foundation.
Bystander CPR is a critical link in the chain of survival. Studies show that for every minute of delay before starting CPR, survival decreases 10%. As the minutes tick by, the likelihood of a victim dying or suffering permanent brain damage increases. Waiting for an ambulance is not an option.
Watch a short video on how to respond if someone is in cardiac arrest:
Hands-Only CPR Step-by-Step Instructions
1. Survey the Scene
- Look at what’s going on around you. Is it safe for you to help them?
- Try to wake up the victim and check if they’re breathing.
- If they do not respond, call 911.
- If they are not breathing, begin chest compressions.
2. Begin Chest Compressions
- Position the heel of your hand in the center of the victim’s chest, at the breastbone.
- Place your other hand on top of the first and interlace your fingers.
- With your shoulders above your hands and your arms straight, push down hard and fast.
- Compress the chest at least two inches and let it completely rise before pushing down again.
- To deliver compressions at the correct speed (100-120 per minute) consider a familiar song at the same tempo, such as “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees.
3. Continue Chest Compressions Until…
- The victim begins to breathe.
- Another trained individual can take over.
- Emergency specialists arrive and take over.
- You become too exhausted to continue delivering compressions.
- An AED has been prepared.
- You feel your safety is threatened.
If other bystanders are available, you can coach them to take over compressions when you need to take a break. It is important to keep the same rhythm (without any breaks or delays) once compressions have begun.
Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
- An AED is a portable device that can deliver an electric shock to restore normal heart rhythm.
- If an AED is available, continue compressions until it is prepared for application.
- After turning on the AED, audio prompts will provide step-by-step instructions on how to use the device.
View our printable Bystander CPR/AED Overview Flier>>
Schedule a Training Session
Want to schedule a CPR/AED training session? Complete and submit our registration form>>