What does CPR stand for?

by Elizabeth Shaw -

Hands only CPRCPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation; a procedure that increases the survival rate of victims of cardiac arrest substantially. It’s a method that a person can apply to an endangered victim in the hopes of keeping the blood circulating and oxygen levels as normal as possible by performing chest compressions and breaths.

Now, let’s break down what CPR definitively means, word-by-word.


This refers to the heart, the muscle in our chest cavity that pumps blood, contracting and expanding over 60 times per minute. Electrical impulses automatically keep the body alive through the heart, who’s function is to pump blood that is rich in oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. When the heart stops, oxygen can’t reach the rest of the body, and the vital organs begin to break down. In a matter of minutes, tissue in the body begins to die which can result in brain damage, or worse, death.


This refers to the lungs. A person takes about 15-25 breaths per minute. Every time you take a breath, your lungs fill with oxygen vital for functioning. This is because oxygen and sugar are combined and become fuel to keep the body going. The tissues in our body do not store very much oxygen, and therefore, must be replaced Tissues within our body store little oxygen, so oxygen must be restored constantly.


This means “restoring life of someone who appears to be dead.” As soon as your heart stops, your lungs stop getting necessary oxygen, and when it runs out completely, cells and tissues begin to die, which can result in brain damage. 4-6 minutes is the average length of time before a cell begins to die, and after revival of the body is not possible after 10 minutes.

Without CPR, many would only be able to stand helplessly by while a loved one or stranger dies, but with CPR, there is hope for the person recovering and living. Stepping in and skillfully administering the lifesaving method that is CPR is one of the greatest things you can do for someone.

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