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Eight Common Mistakes When Administering CPR

April 15, 2023

CPR is a skill that takes specialized training; however, it’s well worth it when someone needs help. You never know when you could be the only person in the room with CPR training and the ability to keep someone alive.  

Given how important it is, you should know how to provide CPR in the safest and most effective way possible—and how to avoid common mistakes. 

Infographic depicting eight common CPR mistakes


The Most Common CPR Mistakes 

Even if you’ve been trained in CPR, you might still be making some common mistakes. It’s especially important to remember these mistakes because tense situations will make it more difficult to think clearly. Commit these to memory, and you’ll be more likely to save a life.  

1. Not Enough Compression Depth 

One of the most common CPR mistakes is the improper depth with chest compressions. The compressions should be about one-third of the chest height. Use two hands with fingers interlocked for adults, one hand for a child, and two fingers for infants. The quality of the compressions is directly impacted by the proper depth. 

2. Not Calling for Help 

Make sure someone else is calling for help while an individual is performing CPR. The person performing it may lose strength, and you’ll need reinforcements to help. The receiver will likely need to go to the hospital, and it’s important to have an ambulance on the way.  

3. The Speed of Compressions 

You should perform compressions at about 100 to 120 per minute or two per second. Speed is just as important as depth. Slow compressions won’t deliver blood to essential organs and fast compressions won’t allow the heart to refill between each one. Getting the speed correct is vital to the success of CPR. 

4. Not Tilting the Head 

The person’s head should be tilted because the airway needs to be as open as possible. Gently lift the chin and push back on the forehead. Make sure the chest is rising and falling after each breath to ensure the air is reaching the lungs.  

5. Perform Correct Rescue Breaths 

After the airways are open, the rescue breaths can begin. Their nose should be pinched shut and your mouth should be completely over their mouth. This delivers the most amount of oxygen possible. If the chest does not move after two rescue breaths, the person might be choking.  

6. Not Knowing When CPR is Needed 

Sometimes, CPR is not needed in a medical emergency. CPR is necessary if an adult is not breathing at all and if a child or infant is not breathing correctly. Circumstances like a heart attack, choking, drug or alcohol overdose, near-drowning, and more may call for CPR. A person can suffer damage or die in under eight minutes, so it is critical to know when CPR is needed. 

7. Improper Amount of Compressions 

The proper number is 30 chest compressions. Make sure you are kneeling beside the person to deliver CPR and that they are on a flat surface. The chest should return to a normal position after you complete each compression.   

8. Not Thinking About Your Own Safety 

It’s crucial to recognize your own safety while trying to rescue someone else. Ensure you’re not in danger before you start. While acting fast is important, you don’t want to get injured because you acted off of adrenaline. 


Get Training From Specialized Health and Safety 

With the right training, you can rest assured that you will provide proper CPR if the moment arises. Specialized Health and Safety offers a variety of classes for individuals and businesses wanting to become CPR certified.  

Our instructors provide a welcoming environment focused on giving you all the tools you need. We will also notify you six to eight weeks before your certification expires so there is never a lapse. Contact us today to learn more and find the right class for you.