Useful Notes: CPR (Clean, Pretty, Reliable)

And now for some Real Life Useful Notes about CPR.

First off, if someone near you is not breathing at this moment, call emergency services and let them help you. If your first reaction when faced with a medical emergency is to go to TV Tropes, well, you're probably beyond help.

This is a Useful Note. It is designed to help readers understand how things work in real life so that you can compare it to how it works in fiction. It's a way for you to do the research rather than actually apply it to your Real Life. Useful Notes are not written by medical professionals and carry no guarantee of accuracy (or indeed, usefulness) for your situation. We don't particularly want you ruining someone else's life.

Really, if you find yourself in a situation where someone needs help, seriously, call emergency services in your jurisdiction. It's
  • 9-1-1 in North America
  • 1-1-2 in the European Union
  • 9-9-9 in the British Commonwealth and many of its former constituent nations.
These numbers are the most common. Most mobile phones will help you by directing you to local emergency services if you call any of these common numbers. You usually don't even have to unlock your phone to call emergency services; modern smartphones may even have it as a separate function. Operators can instruct you on the phone. Time is of the essence.


CPR, AED and other First Aid training is highly desireable, especially in certain fields of employment. If you are interested, certification courses are widespread. A good place to look is your local Red Cross. note 

Proper execution of CPR is vital, which is why formal training is important.note  If done wrong, not only could it be ineffective, but it could damage the rib cage in a fatal manner. Proper execution could still break ribs; this is alright, and some physicians suggest it may even be necessary. Improper execution could snap off the xyphoid process at the bottom of the sternum and damage the heart itself, rendering CPR pointless.

Don't confuse it with the Heimlich maneuver, used to expel objects blocking a person's throat. CPR is for dealing with a stopped or very slowed heart, an entirely different emergency.

TV Tropes is not an encyclopedia. If you want more detailed information, see the article on the other Wiki.