Glossary >

CPR: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, chest compressions, rescue breathing, airway management, AED, defibrillation

CPR: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, chest compressions, rescue breathing, airway management, AED, defibrillation

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving technique to restore blood and oxygen flow to the heart and lungs in a person who has stopped breathing or whose heart has stopped beating. CPR typically involves a combination of chest compressions and rescue breathing.

Chest compressions is the most important part of CPR. It involves pressing on the chest with the palms of your hands to create a pumping action that helps circulate blood and oxygen to the heart and brain.

Rescue breathing is another component of CPR. It involves exhaling air into the mouth of the person in distress to help them breathe. This can be done using a barrier device, such as a face shield, to prevent direct contact with the person's mouth and nose.

Airway management describes techniques for maintaining or restoring a person's breathing ability. This can involve positioning the person's head and neck to keep their airway open or using specialized devices to help them breathe, such as a bag-valve mask or an endotracheal tube.

Automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable device that can deliver an electric shock to the heart of a cardiac arrest victim. This shock, known as defibrillation, can help restore a normal heart rhythm and improve the person's chances of survival.

Defibrillation is the process of delivering an electric shock to the heart to help restore a normal heart rhythm. This is often done using an AED, but it can also be done manually using a defibrillator connected to the person's chest with pads. Defibrillation is a critical step in treating cardiac arrest and can significantly improve a person's chances of survival.

CPR AED and First Aid Certification. Get certified Now with the latest AHA guidelines.
Takes less than 20 minutes. learn more

What do I do if there are no barrier devices available before performing CPR?

If no barrier devices are available on the scene, like a bag valve mask, it is up to you if you are comfortable doing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. If not, call 911 and perform chest compressions only or Hands-Only CPR. The American Heart Association recommends the Hands-Only CPR technique for lay rescuers who are not trained in CPR or are not comfortable giving rescue breaths.

What should I do if an unconscious victim has a head injury?

If the victim has a head, neck, or spine injury, do not move the patient, and call 911 immediately. If possible, stabilize the head and neck by placing your hands on both sides of the victim's head. Ensure the head is in line with the spine and prevent movement until the emergency medical services arrive.

What if a victim loses blood from a big wound and is unconscious with no pulse?

If the victim loses more than 15 percent of the body's blood, it will be difficult for the heart to pump enough blood to the body. In this case, you need to activate the emergency medical services immediately so that the healthcare professionals can provide advanced cardiovascular life support.

At what age can you perform CPR?

According to studies, individuals as young as nine can already perform CPR as long as they are trained in CPR and First Aid.

Can I perform CPR when someone has a heart attack?

If the heart attack victim is conscious and breathing, there's no need to perform CPR. But CPR can save the victim's life if the victim is not breathing and you don't feel a pulse. Push hard and fast on the center of the victim's chest utilizing a CPR compression rate of 100-120 compressions per minute.

Can I blow tobacco smoke to a CPR patient for them to cough?

No. Never use tobacco smoke on a patient just to make them cough. Instead, do it correctly by giving the correct compression-to-breath ratio of 30 chest compressions, followed by 2 rescue breaths. Following the chain of survival steps will give the patient the best chance of survival.

Can I perform CPR if someone loses consciousness after an asthma attack?

If someone has an asthma attack and their breathing stops and becomes non-responsive, you can follow the standard CPR steps aligned with the American Heart Association guidelines.