CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
It is sometimes used in an emergency when someone's heart has stopped beating adequately. Cardiac arrest is another term for when the heart stops beating. When in cardiac arrest, blood stops flowing through the body. This means that oxygen does not get to the brain. The brain can survive without oxygen for only about five minutes. After that point, an individual would have permanent brain damage, even if their heart started again. CPR can help blood and oxygen flow to the brain while medical personnel try to get the heart to beat normally again helping to prevent brain damage.
CPR typically includes:
- Someone pushing on your chest with their hands (chest compressions)
- Artificial breathing. Artificial breathing is when someones breathes from their mouth into yours (mouth-to-mouth or mouth-to-mask), or uses a small bag attached to a mask to push air into your lungs.
- A machine giving you one or more quick electrical shocks to your chest (defibrillation)