Understanding CPR

A Proven Life Saver

CPR (CARDIOPULMONARY RESUSCITATION) is a first-aid life-saving technique that can revive someone whose heart and/or lungs have stopped working. It is an artificial way to get oxygen-containing blood to the brain and other body tissues. When someone stops breathing, time is of the essence, because the brain may suffer permanent damage after only four minutes without oxygen, even if the victim survives. Professional help is still necessary as soon as possible after you successfully perform CPR.


Emergencies that could stop a person’s breathing or heartbeat include heart attack, electric shock, choking, a drug overdose, drowning, suffocation or an auto collision.


CPR might keep a victim alive until an advanced life support system can take over. Experts estimate that more than 100,000 lives could be saved each year if enough people mastered CPR. Three out of four sudden deaths are witnessed by bystanders, few of whom know what to do to save the victim’s life. However, if you try to use what you think is CPR without being trained in it, you may do more harm than good. CPR is a complicated skill, taught by certified instructors. The American Red Cross, the YMCA, the American Heart Association and many other private and government agencies offer CPR classes.


During your CPR training you will learn:

  • how to recognize when someone needs CPR;
  • how to check a victim’s breathing and pulse;
  • the three steps for reviving the victim and how long you should continue those steps;
  • special procedures for certain accidents or certain victims, such as infants, toddlers, young children, pregnant women and obese people;
  • and when to call for further help.


Besides receiving verbal instructions, you’ll be practicing CPR on special life-size dolls, called manikins, that simulate breathing and a heartbeat. Because there’s so much to learn, classes can be spread over several sessions. Refresher courses are recommended once a year every year after your training to keep in practice and to see if any modifications in the technique have been introduced.

You have a much better chance of saving someone’s life in or out of the home by getting CPR training. Why not call soon to see when classes are offered?

This information should not he viewed as a substitute for the completion of a CPR course taught by a teacher with a current instructor’s certificate.

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