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What is Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Pronunciation: ˌkär-dē-ō-ˈpul-mə-ˌner-ē ˌresəˈsə-tā-shən (C-P-R)

Definition: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency life-saving procedure that combines chest compressions and rescue breaths to manually maintain blood circulation and oxygenation in someone experiencing cardiac arrest or respiratory arrest. The primary goal of CPR is to preserve brain function and vital organs until advanced medical care can be provided.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

When should CPR be performed?

CPR should be performed when a person is unresponsive, not breathing, or only gasping for air, which may indicate cardiac arrest or respiratory arrest. Immediate initiation of CPR can greatly improve the person’s chances of survival.

What are the basic steps of CPR?

The basic steps of CPR for adults, children, and infants include:

  1. Check for responsiveness and call for help: Tap the person’s shoulder and shout to see if they respond. If not, call 911 or your local emergency number.
  2. Begin chest compressions: Place the heel of one hand in the center of the person’s chest, and place your other hand on top. Push down hard and fast, compressing the chest at least 2 inches (5 cm) for adults, 2 inches (5 cm) for children, and 1.5 inches (4 cm) for infants. Aim for a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute.
  3. Give rescue breaths: After 30 chest compressions, give two rescue breaths by tilting the person’s head back, pinching their nose, and breathing into their mouth until their chest rises. For infants, cover both their mouth and nose with your mouth when giving breaths.
  4. Continue cycles of 30 compressions and two breaths until help arrives, an AED becomes available, or the person starts to respond.
    Note that these are general guidelines, and CPR training is recommended to learn and practice the proper technique.

Is hands-only CPR effective?

Hands-only CPR, which involves continuous chest compressions without rescue breaths, can be effective in certain situations, particularly for untrained individuals or those who are unwilling or unable to perform rescue breaths. Studies have shown that hands-only CPR can be as effective as conventional CPR for adult victims of sudden cardiac arrest caused by heart-related issues. However, conventional CPR with rescue breaths is still recommended for children, infants, and victims of drowning or drug overdose.