Also Known As: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation or CPR is an emergency procedure that manually pumps blood through the heart.

Often a stop-gap measure employed on someone undergoing cardiac arrest, near drowning or certain respiratory difficulties, it is used to preserve brain function, until other medical measures can be taken. In 2010, the American Heart Association CPR guidelines were changed, based on research done on the effectiveness of the procedure.

In CPR, chest compressions of at least two inches deep are given at a rate of 100 per minute. These compressions are sometimes alternated with artificial respiration or exhaling into the victim’s mouth. Chest compressions are more critical than artificial respiration, and untrained rescuers are advised to use a modified CPR with only chest compressions. CPR will not likely restart the heart but is done to restore oxygenated blood to the heart and brain.

CPR should be performed on those who are unresponsive and have stopped or are having difficulty breathing. If cardiac arrest is due to trauma, CPR may be unhelpful if the victim has no pulse. The CPR process is different for pregnant women and infants.

All lifeguards receive CPR training as part of their certification process. Certification is valid for two years.