A life saving procedure that includes the timed external compression of the anterior chest wall (to stimulate blood flow) by pumping the heart, and alternating with mouth to mouth breathing to provide oxygen.
In the case of an early heart attack, death can often be avoided if a bystander starts CPR promptly (within 5 minutes of the onset of ventricular fibrillation). When paramedics arrive, medications and/or electrical shock (cardioversion) to the heart can be administered to convert ventricular fibrillation to a normal heart rhythm. Therefore, prompt CPR and rapid paramedic respronse can improve the survival chances from a heart attack.
(20 Jun 2000)
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