Dos and Don'ts: CPR for Saving a Drowning Victim the Right Way

Dos and Don'ts: CPR for Saving a Drowning Victim the Right Way

CPR for Saving a Drowning Victim

Every second counts in an emergency, especially when it comes to saving a life. When someone is drowning, knowing the right actions to take can mean the difference between life and death. Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a vital skill that can empower you to be a hero in such a situation. However, it’s crucial to understand the dos and don’ts to ensure your efforts are effective. Let’s dive into the essential guidelines for performing CPR for saving a drowning victim.

The Dos:

Assess the Situation: Before diving in (pun intended), take a moment to evaluate the scene. Ensure your safety first and then assess the victim’s condition. If they are unresponsive and not breathing normally, immediate CPR is necessary.

Call for Help: Don’t be a lone ranger. While you initiate CPR, instruct someone nearby to call emergency services. Time is of the essence, and the sooner professional help arrives, the better.

Begin CPR Immediately: Start chest compressions as soon as possible. Aim for a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute while applying force and speed to the middle of the chest. Keep a steady rhythm to maintain blood flow to vital organs.

Utilize Rescue Breaths: After 30 compressions, give two rescue breaths. Tilt the victim’s head back gently, lift the chin, and pinch the nose closed while making a complete seal over their mouth with yours. Deliver each breath over one second and watch for the chest to rise.

Continue CPR Until Help Arrives: Don’t stop until professional rescuers take over or the victim shows signs of life. Consistent CPR is crucial for maximizing the chances of survival.

The Don’ts:

Don’t Delay: Procrastination can cost lives. Avoid hesitation and act swiftly. Remember, every moment without oxygen reduces the victim’s chances of survival.

Don’t Panic: It’s natural to feel overwhelmed, but panicking won’t help anyone. Stay calm, focused, and follow the steps of CPR for saving a drowning victim carefully.

Don’t Forget to Check for Breathing: Before starting CPR, ensure the victim is not breathing or breathing abnormally. Look for chest movements, listen for breath sounds, and feel for breath on your cheek.

Don’t Stop Compression: Interruptions in chest compressions can decrease the effectiveness of CPR. Minimize pauses between compressions to maintain blood circulation.

Don’t Give Up: Saving a life isn’t easy, but it’s worth every effort. Even if the situation seems dire, continue CPR until professional help arrives.

Additional Guidelines for CPR Success:

Maintain Proper Technique: Correct form is essential for effective CPR. Ensure your hands are properly positioned on the victim’s chest, with fingers interlaced and elbows straight. Press down at least 2 inches but not more than 2.4 inches to achieve adequate compression depth. Avoid leaning on the victim’s chest between compressions to allow for full recoil.

Rotate Rescuers: Performing CPR can be physically demanding, leading to fatigue. If possible, rotate rescuers every two minutes to maintain high-quality chest compressions. This allows for rest and ensures that compressions remain effective throughout the rescue effort.

Use an AED When Available: An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a valuable tool in cardiac emergencies. If an AED is accessible, follow the device’s instructions and apply it as soon as possible. AEDs can analyze the victim’s heart rhythm and deliver a shock if necessary, increasing the chances of restoring normal heart function.

Provide Emotional Support: In addition to physical care, drowning victims may experience fear, anxiety, and trauma. Offer reassurance and comfort to the victim and any bystanders involved in the incident. Your calm presence can make a significant difference in the overall outcome and recovery process.

Stay Informed and Refresh Skills Regularly: CPR guidelines and techniques may evolve over time. Stay updated on the latest recommendations from reputable sources such as the American Heart Association (AHA) or the Red Cross. Attend refresher courses periodically to reinforce your skills and stay prepared to respond effectively in emergencies.


Note: CPR Classes Near Me Baltimore is dedicated to providing top-notch CPR training to individuals and organizations. Feel free to reach out to us for more information or to schedule a training session.  

Related Training Courses:

Basic Life Support (BLS): BLS courses are designed for healthcare professionals and lay rescuers alike, focusing on fundamental life-saving skills, including CPR, AED use, and relief of choking. BLS certification is often a prerequisite for healthcare roles and is recommended for anyone seeking comprehensive emergency response training.

First Aid Certification: First Aid courses cover essential medical techniques and procedures for addressing a wide range of injuries and medical emergencies. Participants learn how to assess situations, provide initial care, and stabilize patients until professional help arrives. First Aid certification complements CPR training and enhances overall readiness in emergency situations.

Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Training: AED training courses teach participants how to effectively use an Automated External Defibrillator to deliver a shock to individuals experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. Participants learn how to assess the need for defibrillation, safely operate an AED device, and integrate AED use into CPR protocols. AED certification enhances the ability to respond promptly to cardiac emergencies and improve outcomes for victims.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can CPR be performed on a drowning victim if they’ve been submerged for a long time?

A: Yes, CPR can still be effective even if a victim has been submerged for an extended period. Immediate initiation of CPR helps circulate oxygenated blood to vital organs, increasing the likelihood of survival. However, the sooner CPR is started, the better the chances of a successful outcome.

Q: Is it necessary to be certified to perform CPR on a drowning victim? 

A: While certification is not mandatory for providing CPR in an emergency, proper training significantly increases your effectiveness and confidence. CPR certification courses cover essential techniques, rescue procedures, and the use of AEDs, preparing individuals to respond appropriately in real-life situations.

Q: What is the Good Samaritan Law, and how does it protect individuals performing CPR? 

A: The Good Samaritan Law provides legal protection to individuals who provide reasonable assistance to those who are injured or in distress, including administering CPR. These laws vary by jurisdiction but generally shield rescuers from liability as long as they act in good faith and within their level of training.

Q: Are there specific CPR techniques for infants or children who are drowning victims?

 A: Yes, CPR techniques may vary slightly for infants and children compared to adults. Pediatric CPR courses typically cover specialized approaches tailored to the age and size of the victim. These courses emphasize gentle compressions and adjustments to rescue breaths to ensure effectiveness and safety.

Q: How often should CPR training be renewed, and what other related courses are available?

 A: CPR certification typically needs renewal every two years to stay updated on the latest guidelines and techniques. Alongside CPR training, individuals can explore related courses such as Basic Life Support (BLS), First Aid, and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) to expand their emergency response skills and knowledge.


When it comes to CPR, knowledge and readiness are key. By adhering to the dos and don’ts of CPR, maintaining proper technique, utilizing available resources like AEDs, and providing emotional support, you can significantly improve the chances of survival for drowning victims.

Remember, CPR is not just a skill; it’s a lifesaving act of compassion and courage. Whether you’re a trained professional or a concerned bystander, your actions can make a deep difference in someone’s life.

At CPR Classes Near Me Baltimore, we’re committed to equipping individuals and organizations with the necessary skills to respond confidently in emergencies. Contact us today to learn more about our training programs and how you can become a certified CPR rescuer.

Together, let’s make our communities safer and more resilient, one CPR-trained individual at a time.