CPR: The Foundation of First Aid

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency life-saving technique that is used to treat victims of cardiac arrest. CPR involves a combination of chest compressions and rescue breathing, which are designed to keep the victim’s heart and lungs functioning until advanced medical help arrives. CPR training is available in all of our first aid courses, such as First Aid Level 1 and First Aid Level 2.

Why is CPR important?

According to the American Heart Association, only about 46% of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest receive bystander CPR. Moreover, less than 10% of victims who suffer from cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting survive.

CPR is a crucial technique that can help save lives in emergency situations. When a person suffers from cardiac arrest, their heart stops beating, and they stop breathing. Within a few minutes, their brain cells start to die due to a lack of oxygen, and irreversible brain damage can occur within a few minutes. For every minute that passes without CPR, the victim’s chance of survival decreases by 10%. CPR can help keep oxygen flowing to the brain and other vital organs until advanced medical help arrives, increasing the chances of a victim’s survival.

When should we use CPR?

There are two things to look for when deciding if someone needs CPR.

  1. Is the person Responsive?
  2. Are they breathing Normally?

If the person is unresponsive and not breathing normally, then you should ensure someone calls 911 and start CPR right away.

Who can perform CPR?

CPR can be performed by anyone, regardless of whether they have medical training or not. However, it is essential to learn how to perform CPR correctly so that it is effective and to avoid causing injury to the victim. CPR training is widely available and can be obtained from a certified instructor at Fundamental First Aid Ltd. 

Steps to perform CPR

  1. Check for responsiveness: Before starting CPR, check if the victim is responsive by pinching their thumb nail and shouting their name.

  2. Call for help: If the victim does not respond, immediately call 911 for emergency medical help or ask someone nearby to do so.

  3. Open the airway: Place the victim on their back and tilt their head back slightly to open the airway. If they have fallen and might have a spinal injury, be sure to support the head and neck. 

  4. Check for breathing: Check for signs of breathing by placing your ear over the victim’s mouth and nose and listening for sounds of breathing.

  5. Start chest compressions: If the victim is not breathing, start chest compressions by placing the heel of your hand on the center of the victim’s chest and interlacing your fingers on top. Lock your elbows and push down hard and fast at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute.

  6. Perform rescue breaths: After 30 compressions, give the victim two rescue breaths by tilting their head back, sealing their nose, and breathing into their mouth for one second each. If you have a pocket-mask, or CPR mask, use it!

  7. Repeat: Continue performing CPR until an AED arrives, advanced medical help arrives, or the victim shows signs of consciousness.

Tips for performing CPR

  1. Use the right technique: Use the correct technique for chest compressions and rescue breathing to make sure the CPR is effective and to avoid causing injury to the victim.

  2. Call for help: Do not hesitate to call for emergency medical help. Time is of the essence in cardiac arrest cases.

  3. Use an AED: If available, use an automated external defibrillator (AED) to shock the victim’s heart back into a normal rhythm.

  4. Take turns: CPR is a physically demanding task, and it is important to take turns performing chest compressions and rescue breathing with another person if available. If you know proper CPR technique, don’t be afraid to teach another bystander so you can take a break. 


CPR is a life-saving technique that can help increase the chances of a victim’s survival in emergency situations. Learning how to perform CPR correctly and taking prompt action can make a difference between life and death. With the right first aid training and equipment, anyone can perform CPR and help save lives.

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