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- $50 for one Heartsaver first aid CPD/AED combo course for one (a $100 value)
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CPR: Keeping the Beat
As you prepare to learn CPR, take in a preview of the process and its history with Groupon's look at the often life-saving technique.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, is unlikely to save a life on its own. Yet without it, a person is increasingly unlikely to survive cardiac arrest—that is, the state in which the heart abruptly stops beating. CPR isn't meant to bring anyone back from the dead, though. Rather, the goal is to keep blood moving and tissues oxygenated until medical professionals can shock the heart into pumping on its own using a defibrillator or other advanced life-support techniques.
Timing is everything. The American Heart Association recommends a compression rate of at least 100 beats per minute—the exact tempo, if it helps, of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" or Mötley Crüe's "Kickstart My Heart." On each beat, the chest should compress by at least 2 inches for adults. During full CPR, the rescuer often intersperses each set of 30 compressions with two one-second breaths into the patient's mouth—a process, known as ventilation, designed to deliver oxygen to the blood. However, this step is less important, and in many adults the compressions alone are enough to keep the blood's existing oxygen flowing, at least for the first few minutes. Regardless, the AHA has recommended that untrained rescuers stick to "hands-only" CPR unless instructed otherwise by an EMS dispatcher.
For such a basic medical technique, CPR is a relatively new development. Before the 1960s, early forms of CPR resembled a sort of bizarre dance between rescuer and patient, requiring much manipulation of the patient's arms and upper body. Today, CPR training is widely available to the public, and CPR protocols even exist for use on cats and dogs—in fact, canines served as modern CPR's earliest patients during its development at Johns Hopkins.