How Does CPR Help During Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

CPR helps save lives

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency first aid procedure that is performed when a person’s heart stops beating.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency first aid procedure that is performed when a person’s heart stops beating. How does CPR help during a sudden cardiac arrest? CPR helps save lives by mimicking the pumping action of the heart.  

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) occurs when a person’s heart stops beating and the heart can no longer pump blood to the lungs, brain, and other vital organs. Without prompt treatment — CPR and defibrillation — death from SCA can occur in minutes.  

CPR uses chest compressions at a rate of 120 compressions per minute to pump blood throughout the victim’s body. 

It’s important to note that SCA is not the same as a heart attack. A heart attack happens when blood flow to the heart is blocked — usually due to coronary artery disease. A person having a heart attack may still be able to talk and they will still be breathing. If someone is still breathing, they do not need CPR — but you’ll need to call 911 and get them to the hospital ASAP! 

However, it’s important to recognize that having a heart attack increases the risk of going into cardiac arrest (American Heart Association). If you witness someone having a heart attack, it’s a good idea to ask for an AED, just in case!

Every Second Counts

The American Heart Association also notes that CPR, especially if administered immediately after cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. With each minute that goes by, the chance of survival drops by 7-10%.

The shock delivered by an AED stops irregular heartbeats arrhythmias and allows normal heart rhythms to resume. They also provide bystanders and first responders with clear instructions for performing CPR. 

CPR is an easy-to-learn lifesaving procedure undertaken by first responders or bystanders that, when done correctly, maintains the flow of oxygen to and from the brain and other vital organs. 

Often mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or bag-valve-mask ventilation accompanies manual chest compressions; however, hands-only CPR is an increasingly accepted method as well. 

How Can You Help Save a Life?

Cardio Partners is a national training center with hundreds of qualified instructors across the country. Our basic life support classes — which include CPR, AED, and the use of supplemental oxygen — are offered through the American Red Cross, and the American Heart Association. Because we understand the need for flexibility and the importance of keeping costs down, we offer both traditional classroom instruction as well as blended learning, which includes online classes and hands-on live skills sessions. 

For more information about purchasing a new or recertified AED or to schedule an AED or first aid training contact Cardio Partners at 866-349-4363. We also welcome your emails, you can reach us at

DISCLAIMER: Information and resources found on the and websites/blogs is intended to educate, inform, and motivate readers to make their health and wellness decisions after consulting with their healthcare provider. The authors are not healthcare providers. NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.