The basics on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an essential life-saving technique that is comprised of chest compressions and delivering breaths. The technique is capable of keeping oxygenated blood circulating all over the body in order to prevent damage to the vital organs and the brain.

When is it needed?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is usually performed when an individual does not breathe or does not respond when tapped or when asked if they are okay.

In case an individual does not respond and has an advanced life-threatening condition or dying, CPR might not be the ideal option. It is vital for the individual, family and the doctor to discuss the issue early before the need arises.

What happens during this life-saving technique?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is comprised of 2 phases – chest compressions and breathing.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is comprised of 2 phases – chest compressions and breathing. Remember that pushing hard and in a rapid manner on the chest is the most vital component of CPR. It aims to pump blood to the brain and the heart.

The technique should be executed by someone who is healthy and capable of completing the chest compressions and delivering breaths. For those who had training, the current recommendation is 30 chest compressions or “pumps” and 2 breaths. The cycle is repeated until the individual shows signs of breathing. For those who do not have training, it is recommended to perform only the chest compressions.

What are the benefits?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation can help prolong the life of an individual who is in good health and abruptly ceases to breathe. The ideal time to initiate CPR is within 5-10 minutes when the breathing stopped.

On the other hand, for those who have advanced life-threatening conditions or dying, CPR could not provide any benefits.

Potential risks

The compression on the chest can cause broken ribs, sore chest or even a collapsed lung. Some individuals who survive might require a breathing device in an intensive care unit to assist with breathing for a while after receiving CPR.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on basics on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize situations where CPR is needed and how to properly perform proper the life-saving technique by taking a standard first aid course with Kelowna First Aid.