Recent Blog Articles

CPR Resource Center

Nearly 1,000 Americans are felled each day by a cardiac arrest. Most die, even though many are just inches away from life-sustaining treatment—someone who can do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Someone like you. Don't know how? The American Heart Association, American Red Cross, and other organizations offer classes in almost every city in the country. You can teach yourself at home with the heart association's CPR personal learning program. In a pinch, you can teach yourself. This page offers a step-by-step guide to doing CPR, information on using a defibrillator to jump start a heart, and other life-saving resources.

• Cardiac arrest: When minutes matter
A step-by-step guide to helping
someone with a cardiac arrest.
Go to presentation...
link to illustration
Learn about sudden cardiac arrest
External defibrillators: Deliver the shock of a lifetime
Learn about hands-only CPR
Watch a demonstration of hands-only CPR

Find a CPR course

The best way to learn CPR is to take a class. The easiest way to find one in your area is to look up online, or call, the American Heart Association (toll-free, 877-AHA-4CPR) or the American Red Cross (202-303-5000).

Teach yourself at home

If you like to learn things at your own rate, or in privacy, the American Heart Association has something for you. The Family & Friends CPR Anytime Personal Learning Program is a kit that comes with a videodisc, an instruction manual, and an inflatable mannequin so you can get the feel of doing CPR and practice at home. The AHA says the $35 kit can teach you the basics of CPR in just 22 minutes. Completing the lesson doesn't give you certification in CPR, but it does give you the skills you need to perform CPR if you ever need to. You can order the kit online at or by calling the AHA (toll free) at 877-AHA-4CPR.


As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.