Recent Blog Articles

CPR Resource Center

October 3, 2015

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.

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.