CPR: The Science Behind Saving a Life


If you've ever seen a person having a heart attack, or choking on their food, or drowning in the ocean, chances are you've heard of CPR. But what is it and how can you help? First things first: everyone needs to learn this technique. We offer  classes that teach bystander CPR to anyone over the age of 18. Here's how it works:

Why do chest compressions matter?

When you're doing CPR, it's important to remember that chest compressions are the most important part of the process. If you don't do them correctly, you won't be able to save someone's life.

If someone is having trouble breathing or has no pulse, their heart isn't getting enough blood and oxygen because the arteries aren't opening up properly. Chest compressions help keep these arteries open so that blood can flow through them more easily--and if they're not open enough when we breathe in the air into our lungs (or get water in them), then there won't be enough oxygen in our bloodstream either! In order for us humans to live normally without any serious medical issues occurring such as blackouts or seizures due to low levels of oxygen reaching our brains when doing activities such as swimming underwater for too long without coming back up for air first before resurfacing again later on after having taken too long underwater already (which can cause hyperventilation symptoms).

What is the most important thing for bystanders to do?

If you're not trained in CPR, the most important thing is to call 911. If you are trained, then provide chest compressions as soon as possible after calling 911. Chest compressions can be given by someone who is untrained in rescue breathing (rescue breaths should only be provided by those who are trained). The proper hand position for performing chest compressions on an adult is depicted below:

  • Hands should be placed over the lower half of the sternum (breastbone) with fingers interlocked and palms down, thumbs touching over one another at about nipple level. You'll want to push hard enough so that your fingers leave an imprint on their way back up from pushing down into flesh; this ensures adequate compression depth. You should push at a rate of 100-120 per minute until help arrives or until other medical professionals take over care for your patient. Be sure not to stop doing these compressions once you've started them!

How do you save someone who's choking?

If you're with someone who is choking and can't speak, ask them to cough. If they can't cough, perform back blows (also known as abdominal thrusts) between the person's shoulder blades. If this doesn't work, try abdominal thrusts again but this time turn the victim onto their back and place one hand on top of their diaphragm while placing your other hand below it at the level of their belly button. Give quick upward thrusts until the object comes out or until help arrives (if it does).

If you're exhausted from performing rescue breathing or chest compressions for too long and need a break from giving CPR: don't give up! You may think that you're doing nothing useful by continuing chest compressions alone because there's no pulse or breathing going on--but remember: just because there aren't any obvious signs of life doesn't mean that there isn't any hidden activity going on inside someone's body cavity! Your efforts could still save them if there was enough oxygen still circulating through those tissues; just keep going until help arrives--or until another rescuer takes over without losing faith in yourself first!

If I see someone who needs CPR, what should I do?

If you are alone, perform CPR for 1 minute before calling emergency services. If you have a friend with you, have them call the emergency services while you perform CPR.

If you know first aid or have been trained in CPR, do that instead (stay calm and don't panic).

Anyone can learn to perform effective chest compressions on an adult who has stopped breathing and is not breathing normally due to cardiac arrest--even if they haven't had any formal training beforehand!

Anyone can learn to perform CPR.

CPR is a skill that anyone can learn. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of people who experience cardiac arrest at home or in public are not witnessed by trained responders but by bystanders. By having this knowledge and knowing how to respond, you may save a life!

There are many opportunities for you to learn CPR in your community: schools, hospitals, and nursing homes often offer classes on the weekend; organizations such as local fire departments offer free training sessions; community centers sometimes host them as well. And if you want to become certified through an accredited organization like ours here at WalletHub? We've got you covered there too!

The bottom line is: anyone who is able to learn CPR should do so because it could help save someone's life when seconds count most--and those seconds can make all the difference between life and death


In the end, it all comes down to helping people. We hope that by learning more about CPR, you're inspired to take action when someone needs help. The best way to do this is by getting trained in first aid and CPR so that you know what steps to take in an emergency situation. Even if you don't have time for classes, there are plenty of resources available online where you can learn how many pumps equal two breaths!


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