CPR is a term most people have heard of, but might not be quite aware of what it stands for, or what it truly refers to.
The depictions we see in movies rarely capture the true characterization of giving or receiving CPR, and make it seem as if anyone can just drop to their knees and deliver this life-saving procedure without any experience or proper training. In truth, CPR is a crucial skill for those working in medical and healthcare-related professions, capable of saving lives—if administered safely and properly.
It is recommended that at least one person in every household and place of business receive training in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). That is because this manual delivery of blood flow to the brain and other organs during cardiac arrest can prevent trauma or death, which can happen in an instance of sudden heart failure before the patient arrives at a hospital.
During cardiac arrest, the heart no longer pumps essential oxygen via blood to the body's vital organs. During properly administered CPR, this blood flow may be restored and damage may be prevented or minimized.
Anyone can obtain CPR certification through the American Heart Association. Classroom and online-only training programs may be provided through local health fairs or community centers as well as by appointment through the American Heart Association.
As an EMT or Firefighter
Emergency Medical Technicians are often the first to arrive on the scene. All EMTs, regardless of level of certification (basic or paramedic) should be able to perform this life-saving function of CPR, as it may delay onset of severe damage while patients are being transported to a hospital.
Often, the fire department arrives to an emergency medical scene before or alongside the EMS. Or, during a fire response call, firefighters may be the first to patients suffering cardiac arrest. When this lack of blood flow to the brain presents, seconds are incredibly important to protecting a patient. Firefighters may have to wait several minutes to transport a patient to a doctor or EMT, delaying CPR, unless they are able to administer CPR themselves. The more emergency responders are able to do, the better chance a patient has at surviving a traumatic event.