Learn CPR-A Refresher Course
CPR is part of the emergency cardiac care system designed to save lives. Many deaths can be prevented by prompt recognition of cardiopulmonary arrest and notification of the emergency medical system (EMS), followed by early CPR, defibrillation (which delivers a brief electric shock to the heart in attempt to get the heart to beat normally), and advanced cardiac life support measures. When performed by a layperson, CPR is designed to support and maintain breathing and circulation until emergency medical personnel arrive and take over. When performed by healthcare personnel, it is used in conjunction with other basic and advanced life support measures.
CPR must be performed within four to six minutes after cessation of breathing to prevent brain damage or death. CPR consists of rescue breathing, which delivers oxygen to the victim's lungs, and external chest compressions, which help circulate blood through the heart to vital organs.