|Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency medical procedure for a victim of cardiac arrest or, in some circumstances, respiratory arrest. CPR is performed in hospitals, or in the community by laypersons or by emergency response professionals.
For 50 years CPR has consisted of the combination of artificial blood circulation with artificial respiration i.e., chest compressions and lung ventilation. However, in March 2008 the American Heart Association and the European Resuscitation Council, in a reversal of policy, endorsed the effectiveness of chest compressions aloneŚwithout artificial respirationŚfor adult victims who collapse suddenly in cardiac arrest (see Cardiocerebral Resuscitation below). CPR is generally continued, usually in the presence of advanced life support (such as from a medical team or paramedics), until the patient regains a heart beat (called "return of spontaneous circulation" or "ROSC") or is declared dead.
CPR is unlikely to restart the heart, but rather its purpose is to maintain a flow of oxygenated blood to the brain and the heart, thereby delaying tissue death and extending the brief window of opportunity for a successful resuscitation without permanent brain damage. Advanced life support (most commonly defibrillation) is usually needed to restart the heart. Defibrillation is not appropriate for 'flat line' (asystolic) patients, and in this instance, CPR can help bring a heart into a shockable rhythm such as ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia