CPR Rescue Breaths: Understanding Their Importance

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving technique used to provide oxygen to a person whose breathing or heart has stopped. It involves a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths. While chest compressions are crucial for maintaining blood circulation, rescue breaths are equally important for delivering oxygen to the person's lungs. In this article, we will discuss CPR rescue breaths, their importance in the resuscitation process, and how to perform them effectively. We will also highlight the training and certification options available through MyCPR NOW, a trusted provider of online CPR courses.

Understanding CPR Rescue Breaths:

CPR rescue breaths, also known as mouth-to-mouth ventilation, involve blowing air into the person's lungs to deliver oxygen. They are performed in conjunction with chest compressions to provide a comprehensive approach to resuscitation. The main goal of rescue breaths is to replenish oxygen levels in the person's body and remove carbon dioxide.

Importance of CPR Rescue Breaths:

1. Oxygen Delivery: Rescue breaths help to supply oxygen to the person's lungs, which is then absorbed into the bloodstream and delivered to vital organs. Oxygen is essential for cellular function and survival. By providing rescue breaths, you are assisting in the delivery of oxygen to the person's body, increasing their chances of survival.

2. Carbon Dioxide Removal: During a cardiac arrest or respiratory failure, carbon dioxide accumulates in the body. Rescue breaths help to expel carbon dioxide from the lungs, promoting a healthier gas exchange and preventing the buildup of harmful waste products.

3. Improved Resuscitation Outcomes: The combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths has been shown to improve the outcomes of CPR. By delivering both circulation and oxygenation, you are providing a more effective resuscitation effort, increasing the chances of restoring the person's heart rhythm and breathing.

Performing CPR Rescue Breaths:

When performing rescue breaths, it is important to follow the proper technique to ensure effective ventilation. Here are the steps to perform CPR rescue breaths:

1. Ensure Scene Safety: Before initiating CPR, ensure that the scene is safe for both you and the person in need of assistance. Look for any hazards or dangers that could pose a risk to your safety.

2. Assess Responsiveness: Check if the person is responsive by tapping their shoulder and asking loudly, "Are you okay?" If they do not respond and are not breathing or breathing abnormally, assume they require CPR.

3. Open the Airway: Gently tilt the person's head back with one hand on their forehead and the other hand on their chin. This will help to open the airway by lifting the tongue away from the back of the throat.

4. Seal the Mouth: Pinch the person's nose with your thumb and forefinger to prevent air from escaping. Use your other hand to create an airtight seal by placing it firmly over their mouth.

5. Give Rescue Breaths: Deliver two rescue breaths into the person's mouth, each lasting about one second. Watch for the rise and fall of the person's chest with each breath. If the chest does not rise, reposition the head and try again. Remember, it is important to give effective breaths without excessive force.

6. Continue Chest Compressions: After delivering the rescue breaths, resume chest compressions by placing the heel of one hand on the center of the person's chest, interlacing your fingers, and pressing down hard and fast. Perform 30 chest compressions at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute, followed by two rescue breaths. Repeat this cycle until help arrives or the person shows signs of life.

Training and Certification with MyCPR NOW:

To gain the knowledge and confidence to perform CPR rescue breaths effectively, it is recommended to enroll in a CPR certification course. MyCPR NOW offers convenient online CPR courses that cover adult, child, and infant CPR, including rescue breaths. These courses are designed to provide comprehensive training, including interactive learning materials, videos, and assessments to ensure your understanding and skill development.


CPR rescue breaths are an integral part of the resuscitation process, delivering vital oxygen to a person whose breathing has stopped. When performed properly, rescue breaths can greatly improve the chances of survival during a cardiac arrest or respiratory failure. By enrolling in a CPR certification course through MyCPR NOW, you can gain the necessary knowledge and skills to perform CPR rescue breaths effectively. Remember, timely and proper CPR can make a life-saving difference.

CPR Certification
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