Frequently Asked Questions

Posted on: February 24th, 2011 by Alan

Do I have to give mouth to mouth breaths?

No! The American Heart Association (AHA) is strongly advocating performing Hands Only CPR. The only two steps for lay rescuers to provide life saving CPR is to call 911 and start chest compressions by pushing hard and fast on the center of the chest. That is it. Do not worry about hurting the victim or doing anything wrong. By performing Hands Only CPR you can only improve the chances of survival for that victim. Please checkout www.handsonlycpr.org for more information.

What is the difference between BLS CPR for Health Care Providers and Community CPR?

BLS CPR for Health Care Providers is CPR specifically for doctors, nurses, EMT’s, dentists, dental hygienist, or any other profession in the health care field. This CPR training includes two rescuer CPR, Rescue Breathing, Pulse checks, and lecture about physiology and cardiac rhythms. Community CPR is specifically for lay rescuers such as teachers, construction workers, and the general public. This CPR training is the introductory level class that teaches the basic skills of CPR to empower and increase the confidence of basic rescuers to perform CPR in everyday emergencies.

What does CPR mean?

CPR is an acronym for Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation. Cardio relates to the heart, Pulmonary relates to the lungs, and Resuscitation means to revive.

What is an AED?

AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator. AED’s are machines that are used to shock the heart. AED’s are becoming very common because they greatly increase the chances of survival. If a rescuer can start CPR and deliver a shock from an AED within the first minute of a person collapsing from a cardiac arrest that person has a 90% chance of surviving.

What are the most important steps of CPR?

As a CPR instructor I encourage you to learn and commit to memory all of the lifesaving skills of CPR. But, realistically there are only two critically life saving SKILLS that you have to remember. The first is calling 911. CPR alone will not typically restart the heart and bring someone back to life. It takes professional firefighters and ambulance paramedics, pushing drugs, administering oxygen, and using an AED to restart the heart. The only way to get those professionals to the emergency scene by calling 911. The second life saving skill is chest compressions. The whole purpose of CPR is to move blood and oxygen to the heart and brain. The only way to move that blood and oxygen, if the heart has stopped, is by chest compressions. Chest compressions, move fresh blood and oxygen through the heart and brain keeping those vital organs healthy, viral, and gives them the ability to respond to professional care.

What is the ratio of compressions to breaths for Health Care Providers?

The ratio for single rescuer CPR for adult, children, and infants is 30 compressions to 2 breaths. Although if you have a witnessed adult collapse you then can perform Hands-Only or Compression Based CPR. Hands-Only or Compression Based CPR is performing 200 continuous chest compressions and then reassessing the patient for breathing. You do not have to perform any breathing for the patient while doing Hands-Only or Compression Based CPR.

What is the best way to Call 911?

If you have the option between a cell phone or a land line (the phone plugged into the wall), it is always best to call from that land line. Cell phone 911 calls go through a centralized CHP dispatch center. These CHP dispatch centers will take down your information and then relay that information to the appropriate local dispatch. This can add several minutes to the response of firefighters and ambulance paramedics.

Can I hurt someone by doing CPR?

NO! When you start the steps of CPR that person is technically dead. You doing CPR will not make that person any worse off than dead. CPR will only help. You will probably break ribs and hear awful sounds when you are doing chest compressions, but those are good sounds. Those sounds mean you are doing hard, deep compressions which are crucial for that person’s survival.

How long should I perform CPR?

Once you start CPR you have to continue until someone takes over CPR for you, you are physically exhausted, or the scene is dangerous for you or the victim.