Conditions to start CPR

There are certain conditions that must be considered when starting CPR. If you notice, CPR stands for Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation. Cardio means heart, pulmonary means lungs and resuscitation is to revive.

It is therefore imperative that CPR can only be done to victims fo cardiac and pulmonary arrest. To clarify, CPR is started or applied when the three following conditions exist:

  • the victim is unresponsive
  • the victim has no breathing
  • the victim has no pulse (no signs of life)


Clinical Death and Biological Death

When the heart stops pumping the lungs stop breathing, the person is in a state of clinical death. Usually, this is measured from the moment the cessation of heart and lung functions begin.

Most often the time table is 0 to 4 minutes. In this instance, remaining oxygen in the blood can still supply the brain with enough oxygen without brain damage. However after 4 minutes, the oxygen remaining in the blood will be used up and there is already the possibility that brain damage will occur. At this point in time, the person is said to be in the state of biological death.

To summarized:

CLINICAL DEATH (0-4 minutes) - occurs from the time the person stops breathing and the heart stops pumping.

BIOLOGICAL DEATH (4 minutes onwards) - brain damage may occur at this point.


Circulatory System Video

You do not have to memorize the circulatory system. What is important is that you will understand the importance of blood circulation.

Basically blood carries nutrients and oxygen to all parts of body, including the Brain. The blood is being pumped by our heart. Therefore, if the heart stops, the brain will not receive oxygenated blood and in a few minutes, brain damage occurs.

Once damage, the brain cells cannot be repaired.

Therefore it is essential that CPR should be provided immediately once the Heart stops pumping. By providing external chest compression, blood circulation can be achieved. Providing ventilations or mouth to mouth to a victim can also provide the necesarry oxygen for the blood to circulate.


Risk Factors for Heart Disease

Risk factors for heart disease can be classified into two categories. Knowing this risk can surely help the individual reduce the risk of acquiring heart disease or suffering from heart attack

Controllable Factors

  • cigarette smoking
  • excessive coffee intake
  • lack of exercise
  • obesity
  • birth control pills
  • Foods (high cholesterol intake)
  • stress
Uncontrollable Risk Factors

  • Aging
  • gender (male)
  • Family History
As you have noticed many of the risk factors can be prevented or controlled. By eating the right food and doing exercise can help a lot in the prevention of heart disease. It is sad to note that much of the food we eat today are filled with saturated fats. Often this will lead to the development of fatty deposits in the walls of the coronary arteries.


Leading Cause of Death - Heart Attack


Based on statistical data, the number one killer among all diseases is Heart Attack. In most cases, people ignore early signals of heart attack and usually denies that these could be life threatening.

Study shows that most of the damage of to the heart occurs during the early stage of the attack (first 2 hours). Considering this situation, rapid intervention is necessary to insure lesser damage or insure that the patient will survive.

Unfortunately however, most cases of mild heart attack are not often recognized and are often disregarded. Denial is a common factor to any people suffering from health problems.

Signs of Heart Attack

- squeezing stabbing pain at the center of the chest
- may become more intense with physical activity
- usually accompanied with fainting, sweating, shortness of breath
- often confused with indigestion or heart burn
- pain may radiate down the left arm, across the shoulders, neck, jaw, or back

It is best to know these signs and and if possible to call for assistance once this signs are present to insure that lifesaving care can be provided immediately if the situation gets worst.

For a detailed information of the leading causes of death click here



The Chain of Survival

CPR Training Guide

As mentioned earlier, once the person stops breathing, the heart stops pumping, the possibility of suffering brain damage in less than four minutes is very high. Thus it is important to perform the lifesaving efforts in the soonest possible time. For this reason, a chain of survival metaphor has been established to give the provider the guidelines in providing care to minimize brain damage and increase the chances of survival.


The chain of survival is composed of four different links. These are link together to signify that the procedure should not be broken. One missing portion of the link will lower down the chances of survival and eventually the victim may not survive. It is important to follow this link as you provide basic life support.

Early Access - this is the first link in the chain of survival metaphor. As soon as an emergency is recognized, immediate access to the emergency medical services should be acquired. In most countries, a 3 digit number is designated for all emergency responders such as the ambulance, firetrucks, police and other rescue units. Check your local community for emergency numbers within your area. Place them on the phone or have a copy of the numbers in your mobile.

(Take note that all cellular phones can contact the emergency numbers designated in all countries for free. The universal number is 112 if in case you have no idea as to the country's emergency number. Should you dial 112, it will direct you to the emergency number in your locality. You can even call this number even without a sim on your mobile phone)

Early CPR - this is the application of lifesaving breaths and external chest compressions to a victim who is not breathing and on cardiac arrest. This should be given as soon as possible to insure that the patient will not suffer brain damage.

Early Defibrillation - this is the immediate application of electric shock to a victims heart if the need arise. Most adult victims suffer ventricular fibrillation (quivering of the heart muscles) and are often reverse if shock is given early. So and so that the United States came up with a program called Public Access to Defibrillators (PAD). This is the production of automated defibrilators and placing it in public places so as to be utilized by a trained person to apply defibrillation immediately. Prior to the invention of this so called defibrillators, the application of dfibrillators are limited only to paramedics, doctors, nurses and other trained healthcare providers.

Early Advance Care - the application of advance cardiac life support procedures and medication to the victim. This can be done in the field by responding paramedics or at the hospital setting by nurses and doctors.

CPR Training guide


History of CPR


as provided by the American Heart Association

1740 The Paris Academy of Sciences officially recommended mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for drowning victims.

1767 The Society for the Recovery of Drowned Persons became the first organized effort to deal with sudden and unexpected death.

1891 Dr. Friedrich Maass performed the first equivocally documented chest compression in humans.

1903 Dr. George Crile reported the first successful use of external chest compressions in human resuscitation.

1904 The first American case of closed-chest cardiac massage was performed by Dr. George Crile.

1954 James Elam was the first to prove that expired air was sufficient to maintain adequate oxygenation.

1956 Peter Safar and James Elam invented mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

1957 The United States military adopted the mouth-to-mouth resuscitation method to revive unresponsive victims.

1960 Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was developed. The American Heart Association started a program to acquaint physicians with close-chest cardiac resuscitation and became the forerunner of CPR training for the general public.

1963 Cardiologist Leonard Scherlis started the American Heart Association's CPR Committee, and the same year, the American Heart Association formally endorsed CPR.

1966 The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences convened an ad hoc conference on cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The conference was the direct result of requests from the American National Red Cross and other agencies to establish standardized training and performance standards for CPR.

1972 Leonard Cobb held the world's first mass citizen training in CPR in Seattle, Washington called Medic 2. He helped train over 100,000 people the first two years of the programs.

1981 A program to provide telephone instructions in CPR began in King County, Washington. The program used emergency dispatchers to give instant directions while the fire department and EMT personnel were in route to the scene. Dispatcher-assisted CPR is now standard care for dispatcher centers throughout the United States.

For a complete information visit this link from the American Heart Organization - click here


CPR saves life

CPR Training Guide

Upon introducing Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation to the public, the chances of survival of victims have increased. Prior to these, most victims of heart attack, drowning and other related emergencies often suffer brain damage while heading to the hospital without resuscitation.

Brain damage occurs when the brain does not receive oxygenated blood and usually starts about 4 minutes from the time the person stops breathing. Within 10 minutes, the brain cells start to die and imminent brain damage occurs.

Once the brain cell are dead, there is no chance of repair and eventually the victim dies or goes into a vegetative state.

CPR Training Guide


CPR Training guide



CPR training is a must for every individual. Whenever a person stops breathing or goes into cardiac arrest due to sudden illness or injuries, the chances of survival can be increased if CPR is given immediately and in the proper way.

To effectively apply Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, it is important that one must have an idea as to how the system works. The heart is the pumping organ of our body. It is approximately the same size as your fist and it pumps oxygenated blood towards the head and the feet as well as to all the organs of our body.

During the process of inhalation, the lungs take in oxygen. The oxygen is carried and distributed to the body through the blood passing through the vessels we call the arteries. Once the oxygen is utilized, it becomes carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is brought back to the lungs by the blood passing through the veins, another kind of vessel. The lungs in turn eliminate the carbon dioxide upon exhalation.

For a detailed an elaborate view of the whole process, watch the circulatory system video below.