Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is given when someone's breathing or pulse stops. If both have stopped, then sudden death has occurred. Some of the causes of sudden death include poisoning, drowning, choking, suffocation, electrocution, or smoke inhalation. But, the most common cause of sudden death is from heart attack.
Despite the fact that CPR is proven to save lives — patient recovery rates are better when bystanders initiate resuscitation and there’s a greater likelihood of survival with less damage to heart muscles and the brain — studies suggest that less than one-third of people experiencing cardiac arrest outside of a medical center receive the help they need.
If you or someone you know has any of the above warning signs, act immediately. Call 911, or your local emergency number. If needed, give CPR if you are trained, or ask someone who is.
When a person collapses suddenly and isn't breathing or has no pulse, bystanders are often reluctant to assist with CPR for fear of doing it wrong or making the situation worse. Because less than one-third of sudden cardiac arrest victims receive CPR before they get to the hospital, the American Heart Association is promoting hands-only CPR. The technique consists of 2 steps: call 911, then push hard and fast in the center of the victim's chest. Hands-only CPR can help a heart attack victim survive 3 to 5 minutes—possibly enough time until emergency medical services arrive.
CPR certification means you have had the necessary training and practice and can comfortably do this lifesaving technique.Various organizations give excellent training programs in CPR, which helps to save thousands of lives each year, in including the UCLA Center for Prehospital Care.
The UCLA Center for Prehospital Care, one of the leading emergency and prehospital academic center on the West Coast, offers a range of the American Heart Association's life support courses for health professionals and others whose job or personal commitments require certification in these life-saving cardiac arrest management and first aid techniques. Learn more about courses offered >