Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is the procedure of maintaining artificial respiration and artificial circulation in a mammal who has gone into cardiac arrest through repeating cycles of chest compressions and ventilations. It is intended to maintain adequate oxygenation and circulation of critical body tissues, particularly those of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and heart so that advanced life support procedures can restore the circulatory system to a functional state.
Cardio means heart, pulmonary pertains to lungs, and resuscitation means to revive from death or unconsciousness.
CPR is indicated for people or animals who are not breathing and are unable to maintain adequate circulation. The exact methods for performing CPR vary by species and age and are updated regularly. There is an international committee, the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) that convenes approximately every five years to consolidate resuscitation research and publish updated guidelines for human resuscitation, including CPR, along with more minor publications in between these major updates.