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CPR Advice

Warning signs
What to do
Other resources

Please note that these are only guidelines and are not inteded to replace CPR training. If you are interested in being able to potentially save lives, please look at completing CPR training.

Heart Attack Warning Signs

'Usually' a severe pain in the centre of the chest:

  • often feels like a heaviness or tightness
  • may spread to, or just affect the arms, throat, neck, jaw, back or abdomen

The person may also be:

  • pale and sweaty
  • sick and/or light-headed
  • short of breath

If this is the case, get the casualty to rest by sitting them downn, then phone 999 or 112 for an ambulance.

If the casualty becomes unconscious after this, follow the instructions below.

What To Do

Cardiopulmonary Rescusitation (CPR)

Check - "D.R.A.B."

Danger - Approach with care

Response - Is the casualty conscious?
Gently shake and shout loudly, "Are you all right?"
If no response, shout for help

Airway - Open by tilting head back and lifting chin

Breathing - Look, Listen and Feel for signs of normal breathing. If there are signs of breathing, plase casualty in the recovery position

Action - "30 press / 2 breath"

1. First

If unconscious and not breathing normally:

  1. Phone 999 / 112 for an ambulance
  2. Then turn casualty onto back
  3. Start CPR

2. Give 30 Chest Compressions

  1. Place the heel of one hand in the centre of the casualty's ches and the heel of the other hand on top. Interlock the fingers.
  2. Depress and release breastbone 4 to 5cms (1 ½ to 2 inches), 30 times
  3. Do this at a rate of about 100 per minute. That's almost 2 per second

3. Give 2 Rescue Breaths

  1. Open the airway again
  2. Pinch the nose closed, take a normal breath, make a firm seal around the mouth and breathe steadily into casualty
  3. Make sure chest rises and falls

Keep Going Until

  • Casualty shows signs of life
  • Professional help arrives
  • You become exhaused and cannot continue


Heartstart - The British Heart Foundation
British Heart Foundation
14 Fitzhardings Street
London W1H 6DH

Phone: 0207 935 0185
Fax: 0207 486 5820