What is CPR?

CPR being demonstrated on a mannikin at a First Aid course

Saving lives the world over, CPR is the go-to procedure for a person whose heart has stopped beating. Despite its game-changer reputation in emergencies, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is a relatively simple technique.


The longer a person goes without oxygen, the more the likelihood of damage to their vital organs and even death.

CPR has the potential to keep the person alive long enough to receive professional medical attention.

There is no good reason not learn how to do CPR. You don’t need to be a health professional to gain expertise in this highly effective medical intervention.

Knowing how to do it properly is key. It’s quick to both learn and execute.

To gain certification in CPR, the recognised and recommended way is through a registered first aid training course. CPR is a core competency at Australia Wide First Aid‘s many training centres, such in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane.

Many advocates believe CPR is something everyone should know how to do. It is at the core of all accredited first aid courses.

How does CPR work?

CPR can be performed by alternating chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breathing. This process works to push oxygen into the lungs, so oxygenated blood can get to the brain and keep the person alive.

This CPR technique, taught for many years at first aid courses around Australia, involves 30 chest compressions and 2 deep breaths.

First aiders would repeat this cycle until proper help arrives to take over.

Now, with COVID-19 and infection concerns, rescue breaths are reserved for first aiders with PPE in the form of face-shields. Chest compressions remain integral to CPR.

When is CPR necessary?

CPR is used in many emergency situations. We’ve all seen the TV dramas showing someone who has been rescued from drowning by often questionable on-screen representations of CPR techniques

But there are literally hundreds of scenarios where timely CPR, done correctly, can mean the difference between life and death.

For instance, CPR can be a lifesaver when a heart attack has rendered a person incapable of breathing.

Drug overdose is another example where CPR can save a life.

The point is to keep oxygen flowing in the injured party’s body long enough for them to get to a hospital.

Why learn CPR?

Without oxygen, the human brain can survive for only 5 minutes, on average, before it is permanently damaged.

Used properly, CPR can dramatically increase a person’s chances of making a full and complete recovery, even after a serious injury or problem.

On the other hand, simply allowing a person to lie there without the benefit of CPR, while waiting for help, would significantly increase their risk.

To perform CPR is to take a proactive approach to a frightening and stressful situation. In the context of emergency medical attention, CPR is one of the easier things you can learn.

About CPR refresher courses

CPR refresher courses, as well as other first aid strategies, have their place because of the continually evolution of medical treatments and products.

More importantly though, it’s an opportunity to go through the CPR technique to make sure that hesitation, confusion and doubt are eliminated.

You most likely won’t be needing your CPR skills too often, so a refresher is just what’s needed to fuel your confidence.

The Australian Resuscitation Council recommends renewing CPR certification every 12 months.

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