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First Aid

What does CPR stand for? A Comprehensive Overview


Lead Academy

8 Mins Read

What does CPR stand for? It stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Say, you’re enjoying a walk in the park when a man falls to the ground next to you. When you get to him, he’s not breathing, not responding, and you can’t feel his pulse. What do you do at this point?

If you have received CPR training, the choice is obvious: Ask someone for help, find an AED, if possible. After that, start performing chest compressions right away.

However, the problem is that many people who have not taken CPR training may only wait for emergency services to arrive instead of doing life-saving compressions. So, this can result in wasting valuable time for the sufferer.

That’s why, today, we’ll help you find out “what does CPR stand for” and its importance.

What Does CPR Stand For?

To begin with, CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. In fact, researchers at Johns Hopkins University accidentally discovered in 1958 that external pressure on a dog’s chest during ventricular fibrillation produced a pulse in the animal’s femoral artery. That accident gave rise to CPR as we know it today. However, hospitals didn’t take long to use this life-saving finding on patients.

But, in those early days, CPR was called “closed chest massage” to separate it from the version with the chest cut open, in which the doctor reached in and pushed the open heart.

Now let’s analyse each word of the definition of CPR.

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This is related to the heart, a muscle in the chest cavity that pumps blood and beats more than 60 times each minute. The heart’s function is to pump oxygen-rich blood from the lungs to the rest of the body, which is how electrical impulses keep the body alive.

However, the critical organs start to fail when the heart stops pumping blood. In fact, body tissue starts to die in a matter of minutes, which can lead to death or, worse, brain damage.

Instructor teaching how to perform CPR on a dummy


This refers to the lungs. Lungs are mentioned here. A person typically breathes 15 to 25 times each minute. Your lungs receive the oxygen they need each time you live in.

This is because oxygen and sugar are mixed to create fuel that the body uses to work. Because our body’s tissues can’t hold a lot of oxygen, they need to be replaced regularly.


This means “restoring the life of someone who appears dead.” Your lungs stop getting the essential oxygen as soon as your heart stops, and when it runs out, cells and tissues start to die, which can cause injuries. In general, the typical time for a cell to start dying is between 4 and 6 minutes. So after 10 minutes, it is impossible to restart the body.

Why CPR is Important?

Death can happen within minutes if a person’s heart stops beating or breathing stops. While waiting for emergency responders to arrive, CPR can reduce the damage and save lives.
The Importance of CPR are discussed below:

CPR Protects from Brain Death.

The heart stops pumping blood to the brain and other essential organs during cardiac arrest. The victim becomes unconscious as blood flow to the brain reduces. Without proper blood flow, damage to the brain can happen in as little as three minutes.

There may be actual damage after nine minutes without blood supply to the brain. CPR keeps the blood flowing and may reduce the victim’s injuries.

You’ll Be Prepared for a Cardiac Emergency.

In almost 37% of cases, a stranger witnesses a sudden cardiac arrest. You may be that stranger! Having CPR training gives you the knowledge and skills you need to help someone in need while remaining calm in the face of a medical emergency.

CPR in an emergency is essential because people with CPR training are prepared to help their community by being prepared to serve anywhere a cardiac arrest occurs.

In an Emergency, Every Second Counts.

With any medical emergency, every second counts. Every second counts in medical emergencies of any kind. To avoid damaging effects from lack of blood supply to the brain, heart, lungs, and other organs, victims of sudden cardiac arrest require immediate CPR. The victim may have a better chance of survival with CPR.

The Patient Will Recover More Quickly.

A person who experiences SCA and receives timely CPR has a better chance of surviving and recovering. CPR can help the patient recover by restarting breathing and blood flow.

How to Perform CPR?

We may become confused in emergencies and wonder why do we perform CPR. Simply put, CPR saves lives, so we perform it whenever possible. When someone is not breathing, performing CPR on them can keep them alive.

There are also misconceptions about the use of CPR for heart attack. There is no need for CPR if a person experiencing a heart attack is awake and breathing. CPR could save a person’s life if their heart stops beating.

An illustration of a step by step process of first aid cpr to follow

Just keep in mind to phone emergency services like 911 before you do anything and, if you can, look around or ask someone nearby to look for an AED.
We’ve put together the following easy step-by-step guide to help you in helping someone in need, which you can print out and keep on your desk, in your car or in your bag.

  • Use personal protection equipment, make an initial evaluation of the scene’s safety, and check it out (PPE).
  • Check for breathing, life-threatening bleeding, and other possibly deadly conditions if the person doesn’t seem to respond by shouting or knocking.
  • Call 9-1-1 and get equipment if the person is not breathing and not responding; otherwise, instruct someone to do so.
  • Place the person on a safe, level surface with their back facing up.
  • Performing 30 rescue breaths:
  • Hand position: Two hands positioned in the middle of the chest.
  • Body position: Elbows locked and shoulders directly over hands.
  • Rate: 100 to 120 per minute.
  • After every push, let your chest return to its usual position.

6. Give 2 breaths:

  • Using the head-chin-lift technique, open the airway to the previous position.
  • Make sure to take slow, deep breaths that raise the chest for about 1 second before allowing air out by taking another.

Note: Retilt the head and ensure a good seal before taking a second breath if the first one does not cause the chest to rise. If the chest does not rise with the second breath, something may be blocking the airway.

7. Give sets of 30 breaths followed by 2 breaths. As soon as one is available, use it!

Illustration of two paramedics trying to rescue a man by performing CPR



What are the 3 types of CPR?

The three basic types of CPR are easily remembered as “CAB”: C for compressions, A for airway, and B for breathing.

What does CPR do for a person?

By maintaining blood flow throughout the body, CPR helps people.

Can CPR restart a heart?

Its purpose isn’t to restart the heart. It is meant to keep the patient alive until they receive medical attention at a hospital.

Does CPR break ribs?

It is possible for the ribs to break while performing CPR. However, it does not always happen.

What does CPR feel like?

It feels as though you are holding someone’s life in your hands.

What are the signs that death is near?

Feeling weak and tired, feeling hot or cold, less eating and drinking, and cold hands or feet are the signs that death is near.

What are the signs of the last hours of life?

The skin on the knees, feet, and hands may turn blue, white, or grey are the signs of the last hours of life.

What does the P in CPR stand for?

In CPR, the letter P stands for pulmonary, meaning lungs.

What does BLS stand for?

BLS stands for Basic Life Support.

What does EMS stand for?

EMS stands for Emergency Medical Services.


Until more experienced medical personnel arrive, CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) is a technique used to keep patients of sudden cardiac arrest and other emergencies alive and to prevent brain damage.

The purpose of CPR is to maintain the flow of oxygen between the lungs and the blood, which is pumped throughout the body. Accidents can happen anywhere and at any moment. At the worst possible time and usually when you least expect it. Without someone skilled in performing CPR or providing immediate medical care, lives could be lost.

This is the core reason why investing your time in CPR training is extremely beneficial.

I hope this article gave you a better understanding of What does CPR stand for.

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