What is cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020
  • Author: Catharine A Bon, MD; Chief Editor: Kirsten A Bechtel, MD  more...
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Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) consists of the use of chest compressions and artificial ventilation to maintain circulatory flow and oxygenation during cardiac arrest (see the images below). Although survival rates and neurologic outcomes are poor for patients with cardiac arrest, early appropriate resuscitation—involving early defibrillation—and appropriate implementation of post–cardiac arrest care lead to improved survival and neurologic outcomes.

Delivery of chest compressions. Note the overlappi Delivery of chest compressions. Note the overlapping hands placed on the center of the sternum, with the rescuer's arms extended. Chest compressions are to be delivered at a rate of at least 100 compressions per minute.
Delivery of mouth-to-mouth ventilations. Delivery of mouth-to-mouth ventilations.

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