Health Topics

CPR and Rescue Breathing for Adults with Tracheostomy (Ages 12 and Older)

You arrive on the scene: Check the scene for safety

Check the victim for consciousness. Gently tap the shoulder and shout. 

No Response

Call 911 immediately.

If the adult is lying on his stomach, turn him over onto his back. They should be lying on a hard flat surface.

Check for Breathing and Signs of Life

Watch their chest for any normal movement. Look for signs of life and breathing for no more than 10 seconds.

No Breathing or Signs of Life

Begin CPR:

1. Position the heel of one hand on the center of the adult’s chest.  Place your other hand on top.

2. With your elbows locked and arms straight, lean over the adult and compress the chest 2 inches in depth 30 times.

3. After the compressions, give breaths using a resuscitation bag attached to the trach.   Gently squeeze the bag and give 2 breaths − just enough to make their chest rise.

4. Continue with 30 compressions / 2 breaths, 30 compressions / 2 breaths, etc.

If Breaths do not make chest rise

a. Suction the trach tube. If the trach has an inner cannula, remove it and suction the length of the trach tube.

b. Change the trach if it is plugged or dislodged.

c. Give 2 breaths to the trach, using a resuscitation bag.

Continue CPR until you see signs of life, another rescuer takes over for you, or help arrives.

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Education Opportunities


Last Updated: 06/2014

Click Image to Watch Video

Click image to watch how-to video.

This video demonstrates proper techniques when providing rescue breathing and CPR for people ages 12 and older with a tracheostomy. 

BE ADVISED: This is not a certification for CPR.