CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is an emergency life-saving procedure that is done when someone's breathing or heartbeat has stopped. This may happen after an electric shock, heart attack, or drowning.
CPR combines rescue breathing and chest compressions.
Permanent brain damage or death can occur within minutes if blood flow stops. Therefore, it is very important that blood flow and breathing be continued until trained medical help arrives. Emergency (911) operators can guide you through the process.
CPR techniques vary slightly depending on the age or size of the person, including different techniques for adults and children who have reached puberty, children 1 year old until the onset of puberty, and infants (babies less than 1 yr of age).
American Heart Association. Highlights of the 2020 American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR and ECC. cpr.heart.org/-/media/cpr-files/cpr-guidelines-files/highlights/hghlghts_2020_ecc_guidelines_english.pdf. Accessed October 29, 2020.
Duff JP, Topjian A, Berg MD, et al. 2018 American Heart Association focused update on pediatric advanced life support: an update to the American Heart Association guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency cardiovascular care. Circulation. 2018;138(23):e731-e739. PMID: 30571264 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30571264.
Morley PT. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (including defibrillation). In: Bersten AD, Handy JM, eds. Oh's Intensive Care Manual. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 21.
Panchal AR, Berg KM, Kudenchuk PJ, et al. 2018 American Heart Association focused update on advanced cardiovascular life support use of antiarrhythmic drugs during and immediately after cardiac arrest: an update to the American Heart Association guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency cardiovascular care. Circulation. 2018;138(23):e740-e749. PMID: 30571262 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30571262.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 1/12/2019
Reviewed By: Jesse Borke, MD, CPE, FAAEM, FACEP, Attending Physician at Kaiser Permanente, Orange County, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. Editorial update 10/29/2020.
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