CPR: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
The AHA develops science-based CPR guidelines and is the leader in first aid, CPR, and AED training. All recommendations below are based on the AHA Guidelines Update for CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC).
CPR – or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation – is an emergency lifesaving procedure performed when the heart stops beating. Immediate CPR can double or triple chances of survival after cardiac arrest.
The American Heart Association invites you to share our vision: a world where no one dies from cardiac arrest. Every year, 475,000 people die from cardiac arrest in the United States. Big number. Bigger opportunity. With your help, we can bring that number down to zero. Join us today, starting with this video
Why Is CPR Important?
Keeping the blood flow active – even partially – extends the opportunity for a successful resuscitation once trained medical staff arrive on site.
Chain of Survival
CPR is a critical step in the AHA’s Chain of Survival. The term Chain of Survival provides a useful metaphor for the elements of the ECC systems concept.
How is CPR Performed?
There are two commonly known versions of CPR:
For healthcare providers and those trained: conventional CPR using chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breathing at a ratio of 30:2 compressions-to-breaths. In adult victims of cardiac arrest, it is reasonable for rescuers to perform chest compressions at a rate of 100 to 120/min and to a depth of at least 2 inches (5 cm) for an average adult, while avoiding excessive chest compression depths (greater than 2.4 inches [6 cm]).
For the general public or bystanders who witness an adult suddenly collapse: compression-only CPR, or Hands-Only CPR. Hands-Only CPR is CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths. It is recommended for use by people who see a teen or adult suddenly collapse in an out-of-hospital setting (such as at home, at work, or in a park).
About High-Quality CPR
High-quality CPR should be performed by anyone - including bystanders. There are five critical components:
Minimize interruptions in chest compressions
Provide compressions of adequate rate and depth
Avoid leaning on the victim between compressions
Ensure proper hand placement
Avoid excessive ventilation