CPR overview

CPR stands for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. It’s an emergency life-saving procedure that is done when someone’s heartbeat or breathing has stopped, such as in cases of drowning, suffocation, or heart attacks.

CPR combines chest compressions and rescue breaths to keep oxygen-rich blood flowing to the body’s vital organs until further medical treatment can restore a normal heart rhythm.

Here’s a brief overview of how CPR is performed:

  1. Safety First: Before starting CPR, ensure that the environment around the person is safe for both the rescuer and the victim.
  2. Check for Responsiveness: Gently tap the person and shout, “Are you okay?” to determine if they are unconscious.
  3. Call for Help: If the person is unresponsive, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number (or ask someone else to do so). If you’re alone with the victim, you may need to provide a minute or two of CPR first if you believe the person is a victim of drowning or suffocation, or is a child. Then call for help.
  4. Chest Compressions:
    • Place the heel of one hand on the center of the person’s chest, right between the nipples. Place your other hand on top of the first hand and interlock the fingers.
    • With your arms straight, use your upper body weight to press down hard and fast. The compressions should be at least 2 inches deep and at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute.
    • Allow the chest to rise completely between compressions.
  5. Rescue Breaths (if trained):
    • After 30 compressions, give 2 rescue breaths.
    • First, open the victim’s airway by tilting their head back slightly and lifting the chin.
    • Pinch the victim’s nose shut and cover their mouth with yours, creating an airtight seal.
    • Blow into the person’s mouth, ensuring their chest rises with each breath. Each breath should take about 1 second.
  6. Continue CPR: Continue cycles of 30 compressions and 2 breaths until the person starts to breathe on their own, an automated external defibrillator (AED) becomes available, you’re too exhausted to continue, or professional help arrives.

Image alt text: overview of how CPR is done.

Author credit: By Angel Turner – https://www.dvidshub.net/image/1051465, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40682475

Remember, if you’re untrained in CPR or unsure about giving rescue breaths, you can perform hands-only CPR with chest compressions alone. Any CPR is better than no CPR.

If you’re interested in learning CPR, many organizations offer training, including the American Heart Association and the Red Cross. Hands-on training is recommended to get a better understanding and feel for overview of how CPR is done.

Benefits of knowing CPR

Benefits of knowing CPR are bound, but the following are some of the fundamental ones you need to know.

Becoming a Lifesaver

The most important benefit of understanding CPR is the ability of saving a life. Hundreds of thousands of people have sudden cardiac arrest every year. Unfortunately, many of these people die because they do not get first aid. With such knowledge of a basic survival skill, you greatly increase the odds of saving someone’s life.

Boosting Confidence in Emergencies

Knowing that you are capable of performing CPR is a blessing if you never have to use this knowledge. There is more to CPR that just the physically performing it, it is the mental strength and calmness in an emergency situation that matters. Such assurance can motivate others around you to keep calm and assist in handling the problem.

Enhancing Your Professional Profile

One of the advantages of learning CPR is that it qualifies you as a good candidate for employment in various areas. CPR knowledge will help you to stand out in your field especially if you are a child caretaker, educator, or nurse.

Encouraging a Safety-Conscious Community

Such a safety-conscious environment is developed because more individuals in a society are aware about CPR techniques. The collective knowledge can be used to reduce preventable deaths and promote the general wellbeing of the society.

Empowering Others

You only need training so you can be a center knowledge. You can teach other friends, family members or colleagues how to do CPR. Sharing stories, experience, or even knowledge about the benefits of learning CPR can also serve as motivation for another person to learn CPR. This ripple effect can be instrumental in ensuring that your community is safe and prepared for any occurrence.

Commonly Asked Questions About CPR

  1. Is it challenging to learn CPR?

No, with proper training, anyone can learn the basics of CPR. While there are nuances and advanced techniques, the foundational knowledge can be grasped quickly.

  1. How often should I renew my CPR certification?

It’s advisable to renew your CPR certification every two years. Techniques can get updated, and regular training ensures you’re always prepared.

  1. Is CPR only for heart attack victims?

No, CPR can be beneficial for various emergencies, like drowning, choking, or electric shock.

  1. Can I harm someone by performing CPR incorrectly?

While there’s a risk, the benefits of trying CPR outweigh the potential harm. It’s crucial, however, to get proper training to minimize risks.

  1. Are there different CPR techniques for adults, children, and infants?

Yes, the procedure varies depending on the age and size of the individual. Proper training will cover these differences.


The benefits of knowing CPR are multi-faceted. From personal empowerment to societal improvement, being trained in CPR is undoubtedly a boon.

Whether you want to enhance your professional credentials or be more prepared in emergencies, the knowledge of CPR stands tall as a valuable skill.

If there’s one takeaway from this article, it’s this: by understanding and appreciating the benefits of knowing CPR, you’re not just learning a procedure; you’re embracing a life-saving mindset. Make the decision today, get trained, and be the difference the world needs.