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 arrests 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.
CPR was invented in 1960.
There has never been a case of HIV transmitted by mouth-to-mouth CPR.
In sudden cardiac arrest the heart goes from a normal heartbeat to a
quivering rhythm called ventricular fibrillation (VF). This happens in
approximately two-thirds 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
If CPR is started within 4 minutes of collapse and defibrillation provided
within 10 minutes a person has a 40% chance of survival.