Introduction

The leading cause of death in the US according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC.gov) is Cardiovascular disease. It's important to remember that Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and First-Aid can be applied in many ways. If a person has drowned, had a heart attack, had a stroke, went into cardiac arrest or is choking—proper training could mean the difference between life and death of a patient. If the patient isn’t breathing, is unconscious or has no pulse CPR should be applied immediately. Always remember, proper CPR begins with chest compressions.

It's important to note: that death is most likely to occur after 10 minutes of loss of oxygen to the brain. From 6 to 10 minutes brain damage is expected. From 4 to 6 minutes brain damage is very possible and from 0 to 4 minutes brain damage is virtually non-existent.

Understanding CPR

When the heart stops beating blood stops flowing throughout the body. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is when a person performs chest compressions and breathing into a patient who has no pulse or who isn’t breathing. Chest compressions combined with breathing into the patient will carry the now oxygenated blood throughout the body and into the brain. CPR acts like an artificial heart moving the blood rich in oxygen into the brain.

If a patient receives CPR and/or an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) his/her chances of survival increases; and continues to increase if Emergency Medical Services (EMS) arrives within 10 minutes.

Recommendation

It is recommended for untrained rescuers to provide Compression-only CPR because it is easy for an operator (dispatcher) to provide guided instructions over the telephone. Remember, it is a priority to activate the Emergency Response System immediately and to provide chest compressions.