CPR - Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

What is CPR?

CPR is a life-saving combination of timely rescue breathing and chest compressions delivered to a person who is not breathing and/or whose heart has stopped beating.

Why is CPR important?

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and the second leading cause of death in Mecklenburg County. It claims more lives each year than breast cancer, prostate cancer, house fires, handguns, traffic accidents and AIDS combined. A victim’s rate of survival decreases by 10% for every minute that passes without bystander intervention.

Bystander CPR can mean the difference between a second chance at life or facing the harsh reality of an untimely death. Are you prepared? Do you know how to react? What steps will you take when every second of every minute counts?

Once a person stops breathing or if their heart stops beating, performing CPR allows a victim an additional 4 - 6 minutes of precious time by continuing the flow of blood to their heart and brain. This crucial window of opportunity increases the victim’s chance of survival and keeps them alive until the paramedics arrive. If CPR is not administered, a person will sustain brain damage or even death.

General CPR steps

  • Check for response - tap & shout
  • If no response, send someone to call 911 immediately
  • If alone, call 911 yourself
  • If available, send someone to get an AED
  • Open airway - head tilt, chin lifted
  • Look, listen and feel for normal breathing
  • Start CPR

          - Give Two Breaths

          - Give 30 Rapid Compressions (think about the beat to the Bee Gees song "Staying Alive")

  • Repeat 30 to 2 sequence of CPR until help arrives

Helpful Links

To learn more about CPR, please click here to access our CPR instructional video.