Carrie Fisher | Photo Credit: Tinseltown /

Actress Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia in Star Wars) suffered a heart attack while on a flight, about 15 minutes prior to landing at LAX. After the plane landed, paramedics continued CPR for another 15 minutes before they were able to get a pulse. Her mother, Debbie Reynolds, tweeted this on Christmas day:

How long should you continue to do CPR? It definitely depends on the circumstances surrounding the need for CPR, but continuing compressions and rescue breathing until the next level of care is available is definitely advised. According to the study linked, going longer than 30 minutes can make a difference.

Update (December 27, 2016): Carrie Fisher passed away this morning at 8:55 am PST. Rest in peace, Princess Leia. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.


  1. Sean

    So last time I took CPR I believe they were telling me to just do compressions and leave out the rescue breaths now is this proper etiquette while doing CPR?

    1. Author
      Paul Martin

      Hands-Only or Compression Only CPR is something that is taught now as a way to get more rescuers involved earlier in the process. If you’re trained and can do rescue breaths, then by all means, do the rescue breaths. You’ll get more oxygen circulating that way. Keep doing rescue breathes on children and infants as well.

  2. Peggy8161

    I had a family member who had an implanted defibrillator that failed to capture. People present then EMS did compressions for a total of sixty minutes. It was bad. He looked horrible when it was called. I will never forget how he looked. Then no one stopped two of the children from coming in to see him. Yikes!

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