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.
Where Can I Get Trained in CPR?
American Red Cross CPR Trainings
American Heart Association CPR Trainings
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.
AED Facts from the American Heart Association.
More Information and Resources
Three Things You May Not Know About CPR
Types of Defibrillators and How They Work
American Heart Association CPR and ECC
American Red Cross CPR Information