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Restart a heart in 6 easy steps

Thousands more mums, dads, grandparents, children could be saved if people tried CPR. Follow the simple steps below and see how easy CPR is. 

Hero curve mask

6 steps to restart a heart

If someone is unconscious and not breathing, perform the actions below and become a life saver.

Step 1: Shake and shout

Always look out for risks before you start. Check for a response by gently shaking the shoulder and shout for help.

Step 2: Check if the person is breathing normally – for no more than 10 seconds.

If they are making gasping noises this isn’t normal. Open the airway by gently tilting their head back and lifting their chin.


Image of person checking for normal breathing

Step 3: Call 999 emergency services

If no one is around to help, put your phone on loudspeaker so your hands are free, the operator can talk you through how to perform CPR if you're unsure. 

Image of person calling emergency services

Step 4: Give 30 chest compressions

Start compressions as soon as you can. Place the heel of one hand in the centre of their chest. Place the other hand on top of the first. Interlock your fingers.

With straight arms, use the heel of your hand to push the breastbone down firmly and smoothly, so that the chest is pressed down between 5–6 cm, and release.

Do this at a rate of 100 to 120 chest compressions per minute – that’s around 2 per second.

Image of person giving chest compressions

Step 5: Give two rescue breaths

Open the airway - tilt the head back and lift the chin. Pinch the soft part of the person’s nose closed. Take a normal breath, make a seal around their mouth and breathe out steadily.

The person’s chest should rise and fall. Keeping the person’s head back and the chin lifted, take your mouth away, take another normal breath, and give a second rescue breath. The two breaths should take no longer than five seconds.

Image of person giving rescue breaths

Step 6: Repeat until an ambulance arrives.

When you call 999, they can tell you if there's a public access defibrillator nearby.

Don’t be afraid or worried. The defibrillator kit is easy to use with clear instructions. You can't do any harm using a defibrillator, as it will only deliver a shock if needed. How defibrillators work.

Don’t want to give rescue breaths? Hands-only CPR

Remember Vinnie’s video? We teamed up with professional hard-man Vinnie Jones to teach the nation how to do hands-only CPR – where you push hard and fast on the chest without giving rescue breaths.

Hands-only CPR still increases a person’s chance of survival. Doing something is always better than doing nothing.

Don't delay, be a hero today and Get set up to save a life.

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