Cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Alternative names 
CPR

Definition

CPR is an emergency lifesaving procedure that is performed when a person’s own breathing or heartbeat have stopped, such as in cases of electric shock or drowning. CPR is a combination of rescue breathing, which provides oxygen to the victim’s lungs, and chest compressions, which keep oxygenated blood circulating until an effective heartbeat and breathing can be restored.

Permanent brain damage or death can occur within minutes if blood flow ceases. Therefore, it is critical that blood flow and breathing be continued until trained medical help arrives.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 4, 2012
by Amalia K. Gagarina, M.S., R.D.

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