What is CPR?
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a way to save someone's life if their heart stops beating.
When a person's heart stops breathing, they are in cardiac arrest. During cardiac arrest, the heart cannot pump blood to the brain, lungs and rest of the body. The lack of oxygen-rich blood can cause brain damage in only a few minutes.
Cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack. A heart attack happens when blood flow to the heart is blocked. A person having a heart attack is still talking and breathing. This person does not need CPR, but they do need to call 911 and get to a hospital right away. Heart attack increases the risk for going into cardiac arrest.
How Can I Tell if Someone is in Cardiac Arrest?
A person is cardiac arrest is:
- Unresponsive, even if you shake or shout at them.
- Not breathing or is only gasping for air.
If you see someone in cardiac arrest, call 9-1-1 right away and then start CPR. Keep doing CPR until medical professionals arrive.
What is Hands-Only CPR?
Hands-Only CPR is CPR without rescue breaths. If you see a teen or adult collapse, you can perform Hands-Only
CPR with just two easy steps:
- Call 911 and
- Push down hard and fast in the center of the chest at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute. A song like Bee Gees’ disco hit “Stayin’ Alive” can help you keep pace.
What is an AED?
An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a portable, life-saving device used to treat someone in cardiac arrest.
The combination of CPR and early defibrillation is effective in saving lives when used in the first few minutes following a collapse from sudden cardiac arrest. The AED checks the heart rhythm of the person and delivers an electrical shock to the heart to restore its normal rhythm.