CPR and First Aid Facts

Here is a collection of CPR and First Aid facts that we have accumulated.  Some of these are very surprising!

Cardiac Arrest

  • Emergency services treats nearly 360,000 victims of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year in the United States.
  • Less than 10% of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive.
  • Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time. Many victims appear healthy, with no known heart disease or other risk factors.
  • Cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack. Cardiac arrest occurs when electrical impulses in the heart become rapid or chaotic, which causes the heart to suddenly stop beating. A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle is blocked. A heart attack may cause cardiac arrest.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

  • Only 40% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR.
  • Effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after cardiac arrest, can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.
  • The AHA trains more than 14 million people in CPR annually, including healthcare professionals and the general public.
  • The most effective rate for chest compressions is at least 100 per minute—the same rate as the beat of the Bee Gee’s song “Stayin’ Alive.”

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)

  • Unless CPR and defibrillation are provided within minutes of collapse, few attempts at resuscitation are successful.
  • Even if CPR is performed, defibrillation with an AED may be required to stop the abnormal rhythm and restore a normal heart rhythm.
  • New technology has made AEDs simple and userfriendly. Clear audio and visual cues tell users what to do when using an AED and coach them through CPR. A shock is delivered only if the victim needs it.
  • AEDs are now widely available in public places, such as schools, airports, and workplaces.


  • Over 5,900 children less than 18 years old have out of- hospital cardiac arrests each year from all causes, including trauma, cardiovascular causes, and sudden infant death syndrome.
  • The incidence of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in high school athletes ranges from 0.28 to 1 death per 100,000 high school athletes annually in the United States.
  • The AHA does not have a minimum age requirement for people to learn CPR. The ability to perform CPR is based more on body strength than on age.
  • Studies have shown that children as young as 9 years old can learn and retain CPR skills