What Is the Purpose of CPR? Exploring the Technique

You’ve heard of CPR before – you’ve seen it in the movies or even learned about it in class. But have you ever stopped to wonder, “What is the purpose of CPR?” Beyond the basic knowledge, there’s a pool of information only medical staff and CPR-certified individuals are aware of.

Considering that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the US, it’s time to delve deeper into the true meaning of CPR. Today, you’ll get to learn the historical background of CPR, what its life-saving potential is, and how it’s performed. You’ll never again find yourself wondering about CPR’s significance in a life-or-death situation.


Historical Background of CPR

CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) has been with us far longer than you might think. It actually dates back to 1740, when the Paris Academy of Sciences made an official recommendation for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to help people who were drowning.

Since then, the technique’s continued to evolve and adapt to newer research. Nowadays, technology has become a crucial component in CPR and is improving it in every way possible.


Changes in CPR Over the Centuries

Let’s take a look at a brief history of CPR and how it came to be the life-saving technique it is today:


      • In the 1700s, the Bellows Method and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation were first introduced.

      • Later, in 1740, the Paris Academy of Sciences endorsed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation as a technique for helping drowning victims.

      • The first-ever society for assisting victims of sudden death was founded in 1774.

      • In the 1800s, the Hall Method and Silvester Method of artificial respiration became popular.

      • In the 1900s, external compressions and their ability to restore circulation in animals came onto the scene, and later in 1924, the American Heart Association was founded.

      • In the 1950s, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chest compressions were finally combined to form one modern CPR technique. Additionally, the portable external defibrillator was introduced, which led to the development of AEDs.

      • In 1972, the American Heart Association started with CPR training programs and later published guidelines and different courses for CPR’s components.

      • In the 2000s, hands-only CPR gained popularity.

      • CPR continues to evolve, and new updates and guidelines are continuously being created to improve its effectiveness.


    When you take a look at the history of CPR, you can see how much time and effort have been dedicated to making it what it is today. And still, most Americans lack the knowledge to perform CPR. Starting today, you can make a small change and take a CPR class in Knoxville to learn how to perform CPR.


    The True Purpose of CPR

    CPR is much more than a simple technique. It’s one of the most vital skills you may learn during a lifetime.

    So, let’s help you finally understand the purpose of CPR:


    Restoring Blood Flow

    Cardiac arrest isn’t a disease itself but is often a symptom of an underlying heart condition. However, when a person experiences cardiac arrest, you’ll notice that their heart will immediately stop beating, and as a result, it stops pumping blood to the brain and throughout the body.

    When you start performing manual chest compressions, you’re actually taking over the role of the heart to pump blood. By applying pressure on the sternum, you’re mimicking heartbeats and helping restore circulation.


    Keeping the Brain Function

    One fact that’s often overlooked is that CPR can help minimize brain damage. When a cardiac arrest happens, and the heart stops pumping blood, the brain has a hard time getting enough oxygen to function properly. This is why even a mere second can make a difference when a person’s in cardiac arrest.

    In fact, if the brain is deprived of oxygen for as little as four minutes, permanent brain damage can occur. In some cases, death might happen within approximately four to six minutes. However, if you immediately perform CPR, the chances of survival will significantly increase.


    Buying Time Until Medical Help Arrives

    Cardiac arrest comes unexpectedly, which means you can never be too prepared for such an emergency. That said, bystander CPR should be taken more seriously.

    We know it’s challenging, not the technique itself but the fear usually accompanied by witnessing a cardiac arrest. However, a CPR Knoxville class can help you gain confidence and learn how to cope with the stress in emergency medical situations.


    Increasing Chances of Survival

    CPR isn’t a substitute for advanced medical care – it’s a life-saving technique that can significantly increase the chances of survival. It won’t heal the underlying condition but can help revive the victim that’s experiencing a cardiac arrest and buy them time until healthcare providers arrive.

    Manual chest compressions help restore the blood flow throughout the body, while rescue breaths provide the victim with the necessary oxygen. Together, they can double or triple the chances of the victim surviving and prevent any possible brain damage that can arise.


    Benefits of Learning CPR

    CPR won’t be just another skill you add to the list but an opportunity to truly make a difference in someone’s life. If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation where someone was experiencing cardiac arrest and actually helped them, you know that it’s a feeling like no other.


    Taking a CPR class in Knoxville and learning CPR has a lot of benefits:


        • Saving Lives. Just the fact that you’ll have the opportunity to save a life is enough. Data from 2021 in the United States shows that the survival rate for all emergency medical service-treated, non-traumatic OHCA was around 9.1% when looking at adults.


          • Being Ready for Unexpected Situations. You probably think you’ll be able to perform CPR in a heartbeat, but witnessing someone experiencing a cardiac arrest is often a traumatic experience.

        However, CPR training is here to help you cope with stressful situations and act more calmly without shaking your hands. Later on, you’ll be able to deal with more situations, such as drowning or overdosing.


            • Workplace Requirements. There are many workplaces that will require you to have a CPR certification as part of their safety protocols. By acquiring one, you can increase your chances of meeting their requirements and getting the job.


              • Personal Fulfillment. Knowing you’ve helped someone in their most difficult moments will bring you personal satisfaction. As fellow human beings, we have an obligation to support and help one another, and CPR will bring you one step closer to that goal.


            The Components of CPR

            Now, knowing the components and their uses in CPR won’t be enough to effectively perform it but will help you gather at least a basic knowledge. For more information, you can check out a CPR class in Knoxville and get a thorough answer of “What is the purpose of CPR?”.

            For now, let’s take a look at the main components of the CPR technique:


                • Chest Compressions. By performing chest compressions you’re mimicking the role of the heart to pump blood throughout the body. If the person is unresponsive, you should proceed with administering 30 chest compressions at a rate of approximately 100 to 120 compressions per minute and a depth of about 2 inches for adults.


                  • Rescue Breaths. The 30 chest compressions should be accompanied by 2 rescue breaths in between, as they help bring oxygen to the person’s lungs. You should ensure their airway is opened and only perform rescue breaths that last about a second.


                    • Automated External Defibrillator (AED). In case of cardiac arrest, the automated external defibrillator can deliver an electric shock to the heart to restore its normal pumping pace. As a life-saving device, it plays a huge role in increasing the chances of survival after a person has experienced a cardiac arrest.


                  Final Thoughts

                  It took us a long time to develop the CPR technique into what it is today. In 1740, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation became an official recommendation to increase the survival of choking accidents. From there, the CPR method kept evolving and incorporating extra steps such as the number of breaths and rate and depth of compressions.

                  What is the purpose of CPR? Besides keeping the victim alive, a timely administering of CPR ensures proper and unhindered brain function, restoration of blood flow, and increased chances of survival to hospital discharge.

                  Getting CPR-certified also comes with many benefits. It helps candidates develop confidence in their skills and aids them in keeping their cool in stressful situations.

                  The CPR classes in Knoxville and wider are abundant – don’t miss out on equipping yourself with survival skills like CPR.