Injuries Medical Encyclopedia Health Navigator Drug Interactions Drug Notes Health Capsules Smart Sites Back Pain Hip Pain Knee Pain Weight Loss CPR Cardiopulmonary resuscitation Definition CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is an emergency lifesaving procedure that is done when someone's breathing or heartbeat has stopped. This may happen after an electric shock, heart attack, or drowning.CPR combines rescue breathing and chest compressions.Rescue breathing provides oxygen to the person's lungs.Chest compressions keep oxygen-rich blood flowing until the heartbeat and breathing can be restored.Permanent brain damage or death can occur within minutes if blood flow stops. Therefore, it is very important that blood flow and breathing be continued until trained medical help arrives.CPR techniques vary slightly depending on the age or size of the patient. The newest techniques emphasize compression over rescue breathing and airway, reversing long-standing practice.See also:CPR - adultCPR - child (1 - 8 years)CPR - infant Open References References Hazinski MF, Samson R, Schexnayder S. 2010 Handbook of Emergency Cardiovascular Care for Healthcare Providers. American Heart Association; 2010. Self Care Home safety - children Water safety and drowning A Closer Look Heart attack and acute coronary syndrome Related Information Electrical injury CPR - child (1 to 8 years old) CPR - infant CPR - adult Review Date: 07/20/2013 Reviewed By: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.