Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in adults. Most arrests occur in persons with underlying heart disease.
CPR doubles a person's chance of survival from sudden cardiac arrest.
75% of all cardiac arrest happen in people's homes.
The typical victim of cardiac arrest is a man in his early 60's and a woman in her late 60's.
Cardiac arrest occurs twice as frequently in men compared to women.
There has never been a case of HIV transmitted by mouth-to-mouth CPR.
In sudden cardiac arrest, the heart goes form a normal heartbeat to a quivering rhythm called ventricular fibrillation (VF). This happens in approximately 2/3rds of all cardiac arrests. VF is fatal unless an electric shock called defibrillation can be given. CPR does not stop VF, but CPR extends the window of time in which defibrillation can be effective.
CPR provides a trickle of oxygenated blood to the brain and heart and keeps these organs alive until defibrillation can shock the heart into a normal rhythm.