How do I perform CPR?

The Resuscitation Council (UK) updated its guidance about how to perform CPR safely due to COVID-19.

If you witness a cardiac arrest, it is important to call 999 and start CPR straight away by following these simple steps.

Hands-only CPR

  1. Do not put your face close to theirs. Use a towel, cloth or item of clothing and lay it loosely over their mouth and nose.
  2. Place the heel of your hand on the breastbone at the centre of the person's chest. Place your other hand on top of your first hand and interlock your fingers.
  3. Position yourself with your shoulders above your hands.
  4. Using your body weight (not just your arms), press straight down by 5 to 6cm (2 to 2.5 inches) on their chest.
  5. Keeping your hands on their chest, release the compression and allow the chest to return to its original position.
  6. Repeat these compressions at a rate of 100 to 120 times a minute until an ambulance arrives, you become exhausted or the patient starts to show signs of regaining consciousness such as coughing, opening eyes, speaking or breathing.

Learn how to do hands-only CPR with this video


Resuscitation Council (UK) guidelines which contain detailed information about basic and advanced life support for adults, paediatrics and newborns can be found here.

Further information can also be found at