Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Saves Lives

Fast Action can Save Lives (AHA)

Two Small Boys Save Grandmother from Cardiac Arrest by Performing CPR

Amazingly, two young Canadian boys only ages 7 and 10 saved their grandmother’s life by performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on her after she went into sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest progresses very quickly to sudden cardiac death. The two boys and their grandmother were watching a movie on television when the grandmother suddenly went unconscious. The boys noticed she was not breathing and had no pulse. They tried phoning their parents and no one answered, so they phoned 911 and were advised to put their grandmother on the floor and they were guided on the phone what steps to take. The boys had learnt some CPR from their mother, who was a nurse, and so one did the compressions to the chest, while the other one did mouth-to-mouth breathing and they continued like this until the paramedics arrived seven minutes later. The grandmother, who is also a nurse, claims her grandsons saved her life because she needed instant treatment and by the time the paramedics got there she might have already died if not for the CPR performed on her by her two young grandchildren. In fact, the mother of the two boys who saved their grandmother believes that because of this, CPR should be taught to children. To see more about sudden cardiac death please see our blog post from September 13, 2018.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Sudden cardiac arrest is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating and if emergency treatment is not given on the spot, the person may die or live with permanent brain damage. Every year in the United States about 350,000 people suffer from cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting. Sudden cardiac arrest is not a heart attack although sometimes a heart attack can lead to sudden cardiac arrest. CPR is something everyone should know how to do, as it has to be done immediately before the ambulance arrives.

CPR training at the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross offers CPR training for both adults and children, which is available on both weekdays and weekends, in a group setting or online, so that you can fit it into your schedule. Also, since most people who take the course will not be regularly performing CPR, the Red Cross also offers online refresher information to stay updated.

How to Perform CPR

The Red Cross lists the following steps to take when someone is in need of CPR. The ideal situation involves two different people with each one performing one of the two main steps in performing CPR. For instance, one person does the chest compressions and the other one does mouth-to-mouth breathing. However, one person can do both the tasks.

Before Beginning CPR

Make sure that the person really needs help. Tap them on the shoulder and shout asking them if they really do need help.

Phone 911 or ask a bystander to phone. Ask if anyone has an automated external defibrillator (AED) or can go and get one. This is a portable device that uses electricity to correct the rhythm of an abnormal heart beat or to start a heart beating again.

To Begin CPR

The person should be lying on their back. Tilt their head back slightly to lift their chin.

Listen for no more than 10 seconds to check if the person is breathing. Gasping sounds are not breathing.

To Perform Red Cross CPR Steps for an Adult

The Red Cross has online steps to take in order to perform CPR.

Watch a video to see CPR in action.

The Need for Short or Long-term Rehabilitation

If brain damage has occurred during the time the heart stopped beating, there may be a need to go to a short or long-term rehabilitation and skilled nursing facility to regain lost cognitive or motor skills.

The Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Syracuse, New York

The Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Syracuse, New York provides short and long-term rehabilitation therapy tailored to a patient’s individual needs and they have a team of excellent physical, occupational and speech therapists and a consultant neurologist. Van Duyn also has very rich recreational activities that can be viewed at our blog post from July 11, 2018.


Since seconds count when a person’s heart stops beating and they stop breathing, it is really important that everyone knows how to perform CPR, as death or brain damage can set in before the paramedics and ambulance arrive.

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