Who, What, Why, When, & How of CPR

Why CPR?

Over 475,000 Americans die from Cardiac Arrest in one year.  Of these, more than 375,000 occur outside of a hospital setting.  Survival rates for Out of Hospital arrests hover around 10% annually depending on the municipality and their Emergency Medical System.  In 2017, AHA statistics showed that only 45.7% of Out of Hospital Arrest victims received Bystander CPR.  CPR applied early has been shown to increase survival rates.


What is CPR?

CPR or Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation is the technique of compressing vigorously on the chest of a victim of Sudden Cardiac Arrest to maintain blood flow to the heart and brain.  The American Heart Association encourages the use of a Hands Only CPR for untrained volunteers.  The simple mechanics are to place both hands (overlapping) in the center of the chest and to compress to a depth of at least 2 inches maintaining a pace of (100-120) compressions per minute.  This is continued until help arrives.


Who Can Perform CPR

While the true “answer” may be anyone can perform CPR, the immediate “question” is who should perform CPR.  Those that witness a Sudden Cardiac Arrest should immediately call for help or dial 911.  Emergency Dispatchers now trained to teach Teleprompted CPR, will instruct bystanders in the proper technique of compressions until assistance arrives.


When Should CPR Be Performed

The AHA recommends that victims who are not breathing and are unresponsive be considered to have suffered a Sudden Cardiac Arrest.  Once victims are identified, the responder should call for help and begin CPR.


How Should CPR Be Performed

Once again, the AHA has simplified this procedure for the single provider.  Step One:  GET HELP.  Step Two:  Push Hard & Fast.   Push Hard = a depth of at least 2”.  Push Fast = 100-120 beats per minute.  Continue compressions to the beat of “STAYING ALIVE”




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