One Rescuer BLS/CPR for Adults

Be Safe

  • Make sure the scene is safe before proceeding.
  • Move the person out of traffic.
  • Move the person out of water and dry the person. (Drowning persons should be removed from the water and dried off; they should also be removed from standing water, such as puddles, pools, gutters, etc.)
  • Be sure you do not become injured yourself.

Assess the Person

  • Shake the person, tap their shoulder hard, and talk to them loudly.
  • Check to see if the person is breathing. (Agonal breathing, which is occasional gasping and is ineffective, does not count as breathing.)

Call EMS

  • Send someone for help or to call your emergency number and to get an AED.
  • If alone, call for help while assessing for breathing and pulse. (The ILCOR emphasizes that cell phones are available everywhere now and most have a built-in speakerphone. Call for help without leaving the person.)


  • Begin sets of compressions and rescue breaths.


  • Attach the AED pads when available.


  1. Check for the carotid pulse on the side of the neck (Figure 4a). Keep in mind to not waste time trying to feel for a pulse; feel for no more than 10 seconds. If you are not sure you feel a pulse, begin CPR with a cycle of 30 chest compressions and two breaths.
  2. Use the heel of one hand on the lower half of the sternum in the middle of the chest (Figure 4b).
  3. Put your other hand on top of the first hand. (Figure 4c).
  4. Straighten your arms and press straight down (Figure 4c). Compressions should be 2 to 2.4″ (5 to 6 cm) into the person’s chest and at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute.
  5. Be sure that between each compression you completely stop pressing on the chest and allow the chest wall to return to its natural position. Leaning or resting on the chest between compressions can keep the heart from refilling in between each compression and make CPR less effective.
  6. After 30 compressions, stop compressions and open the airway by tilting the head and lifting the chin (Figure 4d &4e).
    • Put your hand on the person’s forehead and tilt the head back
    • Lift the person’s jaw by placing your index and middle fingers on the lower jaw; lift up.
    • Do not perform the head-tilt/chin-lift if you suspect the person may have a neck injury. In that case, the jaw-thrust is used.
    • For the jaw-thrust maneuver, grasp the angles of the lower jaw and lift it with both hands, one on each side, moving the jaw forward. If their lips are closed, open the lower lip using your thumb (Figure 4f).
  7. Give a breath while watching the chest rise. Repeat while giving a second breath. Breaths should be delivered over one second.
  8. Resume chest compressions. Switch quickly between compressions and rescue breaths to minimize interruptions in chest compressions.