The importance of bystander CPR

This newer way to perform CPR is easier than the traditional method, and it's saving lives.

Published: August, 2018


Image: © solar22/Getty Images

Every year, more than 350,000 Americans experience sudden cardiac arrest, when the heart stops beating without any warning. In the agonizing moments before paramedics arrive, there's no blood circulating in the body to deliver oxygen to the brain and other organs; death is just minutes away.

"When the cardiac arrest occurs outside of a hospital setting, the survival rate ranges from 2% to 15%," says Dr. Kei Ouchi, an emergency physician at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »