How to Perform CPR

We all know that CPR saves lives, but did you know many life-saving CPR actions are actually performed by a bystander just like you and me?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency procedure, performed in an effort to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person in cardiac arrest. [Wikipedia]
Being familiar with and able to perform CPR is smart for anyone with children, interactions with the elderly or infirm, and those with large families. It’s also a good thing to know if you own or have access to a pool, whether above or below ground. Health care workers, parents, grown children, care givers, family members, community members and those striving for sustainable, self-sufficient or independent living should add CPR to their list of skills. 
While it’s not necessary to be certified in order to save lives, taking a course certainly helps. The American Heart Association, which also offers eLearning, and The American Red Cross both offer courses in many locations. You can also run a quick search for “find a CPR course in (your zip code or location here)” to see results in your area. 
Good Samaritan Laws are in place to help those who might assist with such emergency procedures. However, they vary state to state, as well as worldwide. HeartSafe America explains it well here and you can also check the laws in the your state on the same page. If in doubt, you can cross-reference the legal database at Less Stress. For an overview of global Good Samaritan Laws and an explanation of their employment, please check this updated Wikipedia article

Sometimes you are the first responder on the scene. What happens when things don’t work out the way they should? The area may be remote. Your phone may not get a signal. It may be difficult for professionals to get to the injured person. Or there simply may not be time. What do you do?

You may be able to help if you have some basic skills.

I’ve never given a second thought to assisting someone in need for fear of being sued or refused to assist anyone in need. So far, no one I’ve assisted ever wanted to sue me for it but I did get a lovely gift basket or two from grateful families and friends. It was my choice to assist, but the point is that I had a choice because I had the skills. I could choose whether or not to become involved because I knew how to administer basic techniques.

And if I can do it, so can you.

Below are a few videos I thought might be helpful to those interested in becoming familiar with basic CPR techniques. They are brief and factual. While it is important to do the procedures correctly, the videos also highlight how easy CPR is to perform. 
The American Heart Association sets the guidelines for CPR. Here is there video for performing it. Just remember C-A-B and it’s all good.


The American Red Cross offers a simple Hands-Only version that is very handy to know and use.


This instructor-led session covers Infant CPR. It is performed differently and a must-know for parents, grand parents, child care workers, babysitters and members of families with children.


Nothing can replace the care of a qualified professional. When giving first aid, especially when you’re not sure what’s happened to them, it is best not to diagnose a condition and only treat the obvious emergency with common sense and basic skills. If someone is not breathing or they have had a heart attack, CPR – and your ability to perform it – can make all the difference.

Thank you for helping to save lives, maintain strong communities and be prepared. 

16 thoughts on “How to Perform CPR

  1. It was my choice to assist, but the point is that I had a choice because I had the skills.

    Life is all about the choices that we make and it sounds like you've been making good ones. Thanks for the nudge. I think I know what my family and I will doing after tonight. Save lives. Be prepared. I'm on board.

  2. I used to do certs, too. I think I stopped because I didn't need it in my profession anymore and knowing it (in case of emergency) was enough. But I should probably go in for a class soon to refresh my skills.

  3. Thanks so much for adding information to this article, Cheryl. I think it's important that we use this series of articles for collective wisdom. That the links are UK are wonderful. Thanks again!

  4. I was driving back from a business lunch with my boss. I was going through a watershed area and came across a rather serious truck-car accident. No bars on the phone. I had to immediately assess the situation (fuel leaks? sparks? condition of all involved?) I got lucky. Within a few minutes another car came by. I asked them to keep driving until they had bars and call the specifics in ASAP. He wrote down exactly what I said in shorthand so fast I couldn't believe it and drove on to call it in. I stayed behind to continue emergency assistance. This was a nasty accident that required helicopters, etc but three out of four people involved lived. You really never know when you may find yourself wishing you could help, so be prepared instead of sorry. Sometimes you only get one shot.

  5. Wow I didn't expect this, Gen. You people reaaaaalllly keep me hopping! There's just so much of everything good here. This i sso much better than reading the news. xx Rita

  6. Thanks, Rita. I like Reuters for news. You may like it too. Here's the “World News” page. Let me know what you think.

    I am very fortunate to work with terrific people at GenXMedia. I believe in the talent here. Our current writing staff is creative, grounded and genuine. They work hard to bring you their best each week.

    Thank you for appreciating their efforts. We are blessed to have such interactive, interested and engaging readers.

  7. Instead of seeing Reuter's rehashed on Google news, why don't I just go directly to Reuters for my news? Good thinking, thanks Gen. This is off topic but I wanted to make a request. You've given me so many great tips over the last few years, I would love to see an article of your favorite things on the web. Favorite news sites, things like that, like a page of links and why you like them. Thanks for thinking about it! xx Rita

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