8 Things to Know About CPR and AEDs

​​Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and an automated external defibrillator (AED) are used to assist people in cardiac arrest and could save a life. In fact, victims have a 2.5 times higher chance of survival if CPR is started by a trained bystander while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

Below are eight important things to know about CPR and AEDs:

  1. ​Everyone can learn CPR. Though many medical professionals use CPR professionally, training is easy and anyone can learn it. 
  2. Performing chest compressions is more important than mouth-to-mouth. In 2010, the American Heart Association released new guidelines that do not recommend mouth-to-mouth when performing CPR. Getting blood to the brain is the most important part of CPR. Taking time out to give breaths reduces the victim's blood pressure significantly. 
  3. CPR can be exhausting. CPR can be physically demanding. If there's another person available to help, switch off every couple of minutes. 
  4. You won't restart the heart. The purpose of CPR isn't to restart the victim's heart (although sometimes you will). CPR is performed to keep blood flowing to the brain and other organs until an AED is available or an ambulance arrives. 
  5. Don't stop CPR. Studies show CPR is most effective with fewer interruptions in compressions. Once CPR is started, you should only stop when directed by an AED or if the victim responds.  
  6. AEDs are on deck. AEDs are readily available in many public and commercial buildings. Combining AED use with CPR can dramatically impro​ve the chance of the victim's survival. 
  7. 911 systems can help. AEDs should be registered to a database compatible with the 911 system. Some 911 centers can alert trained bystanders through their cell phone via call or text when the AED is registered. 
  8. Other technologies are available. By keeping up-to-date on your CPR training, you'll learn which additional technologies are available to reach trained bystanders when CPR is needed.

Make a difference in your community. Learn more about the CPR and AED training​s offered at The Christ Hospital through our Project Heart Restart. This program provides CPR and AED education, increased access to publicly-placed AEDs and builds awareness of sudden cardiac arrest.

​Mark Johnston is the Project Heart Restart Coordinator at The Christ Hospital.