CPR: Why You Need to Know Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

By December 10, 2014Blog, First Aid


If an emergency occurs and someone needs mediate medical attention like CPR, the odds are not in their favor. A study from Duke University finds that only 3.5 percent of people each year are properly trained in CPR.


Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, commonly known as CPR, is a lifesaving technique that can be administered to someone during an emergency. CPR is commonly used on a person who has drowned or experienced a heart attack, causing their heartbeat or breathing to stop.

During each minute that CPR is not initiated with someone who has stopped breathing or does not have a pulse, survival rates drop by 10 percent.

The American Heart Association recommends that any bystander should take action if someone is in need of CPR. Even if you aren’t confident in your ability or fearful of your knowledge about CPR, you need to take action.

The difference between acting and not acting could be the deciding factor in saving a person’s life.

If you are untrained in CPR – or, even if you are trained but rusty – the American Heart Association recommends that you provide hands-only CPR at the rate of 100 chest compressions per minute to any adult needing CPR.

However, before you begin chest compressions make sure that someone has called 911. The proper way to perform chest compression is as follows:

1. Put the person on his or her back on a firm surface.
2. Kneel next to the person’s neck and shoulders
3. Place the heel of your hand over the center of a person’s chest between the nipples. Place your other hand on top of the first hand. Make sure you keep your elbows straight, and your shoulders should be positioned directly above your hands.
4. Use your upper body weight to push straight down on the chest. You will want to make sure you push at least 2 inches deep.
5. Continue chest compressions until there are signs of improvement or until trained emergency medical personal can takeover.

Remember, performing chest compression is only a single step in successfully performing CPR during an emergency. You will need to be formally trained in CPR to be able to add the breathing component. Also, chest compression is performed differently on a child or newborn than stated above. If you have a child or newborn in your life, please seek proper training.

Don’t be one of the 96.5 percent of people who wouldn’t know what to do during an emergency. Empower yourself by registering for a CPR/AED and First Aid class today and help save someone’s life.

We offer CPR classes every month! Browse our online calendar to register for a class that fits your schedule!