CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is a technique combining cycles of chest compressions and rescue breaths to oxygenate and circulate blood to maintain life. Ask and answer questions regarding the CPR techniques, training and history.

4,428 Questions
First Aid
Death and Dying

Can you revive a dead person?

Yes but not always . Recent developments in in 2013 in America, Japan and Australia have meant that clinically dead people from 1 to 3 hours have been resurrected after cardiac arrest using mechanical CPR combined with ECMO treatment( extracorporeal membrane oxygenation - an artificial lung hat keeps oxygen and blood flowing to the brain and vital organs) . A new machine called "Äuto Pulse" uses a band that wraps around and squuezes the entire chest providing precise and consistent compressions.

Brain death is a different matter. Once someone has no activity in the brain stem or brain they are technically dead .However you can revive the body and keep it alive on a life support system BUT the person is considered dead. Keeping a body alive is occassionally done in order to be able to harvest organs or in unusual circumstances to keep a viable environment for a fetus to allow it to continue to develop until it is ready to be born when the mother has died.

Generally while health care professionals will do their best to revive someone, even then the success rate is low. Typically they'll perform CPR as long as needed or until a doctor call the time of death. But during CPR the brain is still being deprived of oxygen so if the person does survive they often have varying levels of brain damage.

The determination of death has always been a problem. In times prior to the 19th century a "'wake" was conducted for the dead. A wake is a period of lasting from 3 to 14 days so that people could observe the body to see if the victim was really dead rather than comatose. This was more than enough time for decomposition to set in which is absolute proof of death. Once decomposition begins ressurection is impossible.

Early morticians would often perform "tests" on the apparent cadavers, either something painful that might cause a response, or some act that would make sure the subject was truly dead.

In the 1980's the call on death was no EKG and flat EEG, or cessation of breathing for over 9 minutes or so. However, this wasn't always reliable either.

Sudden immersion in ice-water sometimes causes "diving reflex" to activate and victims can in rare instances be revived after appearing clinically dead . This is thought to be akin to the reflexive reaction marine mammals experience when they dive deeply and remain submerged for as much as an hour or more. During this time, blood transfuses, body processes decline sharply, breathing stops, and pulse can drop as low as 3 beats per minute, or less. In humans, the likelihood of diving reflex kicking in is dramatically improved with the coldness of the water, the youth of the victim, and the face being immersed.

Acronyms & Abbreviations
Medical Definitions and Word Differences

What is CPR?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) - also known as BLS (Basic Life Support) - 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.

The exact methods of performing CPR are covered in other questions on this site.


When can you stop performing CPR?

As a lay responder, the only times you should stop performing CPR once you have started are:

  • If the victim starts breathing on their own or demonstrates other obvious signs of life
  • You are too exhausted to continue
  • Another trained responder arrives and takes over
  • The scene becomes unsafe
  • In certain jurisdictions, when you are presented with a valid DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order and you are able to verify that it is valid
  • An AED is attached and ready to be used. After the AED delivers a shock or decides not to shock, immediately resume CPR

As a healthcare provider, all of the above reasons still apply. However, depending on your license and local laws and regulations, you may be able to stop CPR for additional reasons than just the above. Some examples include:

  • Standing protocol authorizes discontinuation after a certain time period or under certain circumstances
  • You are an independent practitioner authorized by your jurisdiction to declare and certify time of death after making a clinical determination that ROSC is unrealistic
  • The patient's verified medical decision maker formally asks for resuscitation efforts to be stopped and such a request is allowed by law.

Back Neck and Spine

When performing the head tilt chin lift what is the proper placement of hands?

One hand on the forehead, the other hand fingers should be lifting on the bony part of the jaw.


Where should adult pads for AED be placed?

Place pads for adult AED on upper right of chest and lower left on the ribs.


Are there CPR scenes in baywatch?

Yes there are some; but remember they are fake and not done correctly.


What are the symptoms of CPR?

Symptoms of those requiring CPR are no breathing, no pulse, no signs of life.

Emergency Preparedness

Can you use AED child pads for an adult victim?



What are the new ratios for CPR in an Adult?

As of the 2010 ECC:

30 compressions to 2 rescue breaths for both 1-person and 2-person adult CPR.


Can you shave the chest before using the AED?

Only in extreme cases would the chest need to be shaved. Usually pad placement can be adjusted to maintain contact.

US Air Force

What are steps for agonal breathing victim?

Agonal breathing will not support life; rescue breathing (or CPR if no pulse) is required.


Condition no pulse and no breathing?

Near death condition (or death).


What should you do if your not comfortable with your abilities to perform CPR?

Take a CPR class.

Better answer: Overcome discomfort and perform CPR steps anyway

Childcare and Babysitting

What should you do if a baby's face turns purple?


if you only know how to do cpr on adults dont do it you could pop their lungs.

RING AN AMBULANCE!!!!!! just to be safe


How do you give mouth to mouth underwater?

Same as you do above water except it is a lot harder: Tilt the head back or jaw-thrust to establish an airway, take a breath (off your regulator, snorkle, or raise your head out of the water), pinch the victim's nose and blow your breath into the victim watching for the chest to rise. If the chest doesn't rise, re-establish the airway. Don't waste time getting the victim to the surface. If you are ascending from depth, allow the victim's breath to escape so as not to cause the victim's lungs to over-inflate. Try to hold the victim's regulator in his mouth when you are not giving rescue breaths during ascent in case he regains consciousness and begins breathing on his own. Control your ascent so you don't ascend faster than your smallest bubbles (1 ft/second). After you get the victim to the surface, make the victim buoyant by dropping weight or inflating the buoyancy control device. Wave your arms in the air or blow a whistle to signal that you need assistance and tow the victim to shore. If the victim is still not breathing on his own, you should try to deliver at least 4 breaths per minute while you are towing them to shore. A cold water drowning victim is not dead until he is warm and dead. If a victim recovers from drowning, he must still be checked out as soon as possible by a doctor because the water that is absorbed through the lungs can dilute the blood or cause electrolyte imbalance that can kill them hours later. You need to practice the technique under the supervision of a certified SCUBA instructor, preferably as part of a rescue diver course and you should take a first aid course. This sort of rescue can be very physically demanding.


CPR compression on an infant performed using?

Use 2 or 3 fingers, on the sternum, just below the nipple line.


An infant in need of CPR will have?

No breathing and no pulse.


How many chest compressions per minute for CPR?

2010 AHA guidelines now require at least 100 compressions per minute, however you can do more. The best option is 100-120 compressions per minute.
100 chest compressions per minute is the rate at which the chest compressions should be performed.
Chest compressions should be preformed at a rate of 100 compressions per min. 30 compressions should take about 18 seconds.


What are the abc steps for CPR?

A = Airway

B = Breathing

C = Circulation

The steps are now CAB.

Emergency Preparedness

What does AVPU mean in first aid?

AVPU refers to a patient's Level of Consciousness (or LOC)

A - Alert - the patient is alert, able to communicate and responsive

V - Verbal - the patient only responds to you when you speak to them

P - Pain - The patient only responds when you apply a painful stimulus (such as pinching the trapezius muscle)

U - No response at all. The patient is unconscious (or dead)

First Aid
Fetal Development

Does a child in the womb breathe?

No; the fetus gets its oxygen from the mother, via the umbilical cord.

First Aid

What is a reason that an aed or saed may indicate that there is no shock indicated?

An aed is programed to only deliver a shock under specific heart rythms, so when it say no shock advised, that means the heart isn't in that specific rythm.


What do adult and infant CPR have in common?

For both adult and child CPR with one rescuer, perform 30 compression to every 2 breaths. Also, you want to ensure that you are doing 100 repetitions per minute in both adult and child CPR. Perform reevaluations after every 2 minutes by checking the pulse of the victim and check for breathing.


AHA CPR test answers?

Can not be given out by any instructors.


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