Bystander CPR

Today’s guest blogger is author Chris Redding.

Chris lives in New Jersey with her husband, two kids, one dog and three rabbits. When she isn’t writing, she works for her local hospital. She has been an American Heart Association CPR instructor for more than 16 years.

Corpse Whisperer, her latest book, is out on Kindle. Incendiary will be out mid-December.

Welcome, Chris!

Before you read my blog, I want you to read this article. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

I had goosebumps when I spoke to that woman on the phone. Why did she call me? Because my job is to teach people CPR. She learned at my hospital from one of my instructors.

Now, let’s talk about bystander CPR. What is CPR?

Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation.  It is compressing the chest of someone in cardiac arrest, so that blood pumps through their body. Most importantly to their brain to keep the cells from dying.


Sure. Anyone can do it. My twelve year old could walk you through it.

Why does the blood have to pump? Because brain death begins at 4 minutes of the brain not getting oxygen. That is less time than it takes to heat up a Lean Cuisine.

In ten minutes brain death is certain.

But if you perform CPR on someone in cardiac arrest (heart stopped), you will push that envelope. You will keep that person’s brain cells alive.

Because on police cars and ambulances are devices called AEDs. Automated External Defibrillators. They are found in malls and airports, also.

Contrary to popular belief (and reported in the NY Times) an AED does not restart your heart. When a heart initially goes into cardiac arrest, it actually doesn’t stop dead. It quivers for awhile. An AED will stop that quivering in hopes that your natural electrical rhythm, the one that keeps you heart beating, will take over and make your heart beat.

If you do CPR for the ten minutes it may take for an ambulance to get there, you will be keeping that person’s brain alive and keeping them viable so an AED can do its job.

Pretty neat, huh?

And it is easy. Just find a class. Sign up and attend. Call your local rescue squad. Call your local hospital. Someone near you is offering a course. Go to to find a class near you.

Do it. Save a life.

Because heroes are trained, not born.

To one lucky commenter, I am giving away a purple tote of goodies.

Thanks for stopping by today.

2 responses to “Bystander CPR

  1. Great advice, Chris. I took infant and adult CPR after I had my first child, but I know the recommendations have changed since then. Thanks for the reminder to go ahead and take the refresher class.

  2. Pingback: Safety Tip of The Week: Contents of a First Aid Kit « Attacking the Page

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