when would you start CPR on an unconscious patient



This might be a dumb question but I would like to ask about CPR. So, here's the scenario. Patient becomes unconscious and unresponsive. Pt has heart beat 40bpm and breathing is very shallow. Would you start the compression? What I am trying to ask is would you start compression if pt becomes unconscious? Pulse is very faint and hard to feel.

Thank you in advance

Knights Nurse

33 Posts

I think if you can actually feel a pulse you wouldn't start compressions. If they're unconscious and bradycardic I think you would give atropine.

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

Is this an adult patient? For an adult you wouldn't do compressions unless they are pulseless. In this scenario if the pt goes unconscious/unresponsive you would call a code and have someone bring the crash cart and treat as a symptomatic bradycardia. These are treated with atropine; or if that doesn't work do transcutaneous pacing (the defibrillator on the crash cart should have a pacing option), or epi or dopamine.

Pediatric patients showing signs of shock get compressions for a HR

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

And it's not a dumb question. :)

Specializes in ED, Pedi Vasc access, Paramedic serving 6 towns.

No in this case I would not start compressions since the patient has a pulse; however I would use a BVM and assist ventilations since you stated that they are breathing shallow.


Specializes in Emergency/Cath Lab. Has 6 years experience.

If they have a pulse don't do CPR, but get some ACLS people there soon.