What Do You Learn in CPR Classes?


CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is a life-saving procedure that offers valuable know-how for giving first aid as an emergency response technique.

American Heart Association statistics show that a person experiencing a cardiac arrest has double or triple chances of survival, particularly if CPR rescue techniques are administered in a timely manner after the cardiac arrest. That is why it is imperative to acquire CPR certification.

But what do you learn in CPR classes? CPR classes cover a wide range of topics related to emergency medical care, basic life support, and rescue techniques.The training course teaches valuable life-saving skills, such as chest compressions, rescue breathing, and AED handling.

Why Is CPR Important?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an essential technique used in emergency response situations to save the lives of individuals experiencing cardiac arrest, a heart attack that culminates into cardiac arrest, or other medical emergencies. Basic life support, including CPR, rescue breathing, and chest compressions, can significantly raise the survival rate in people who have suffered sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

When someone collapses and they are not breathing, the first step in CPR is to check the airway and breathing. Airway management is critical, and if the airway is blocked due to choking or other obstructions, rescue techniques such as the Heimlich maneuver should be used to remove the obstruction.

Cardiac arrest and stroke emergencies require immediate attention. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a cardiac arrest or stroke, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or sudden weakness, is essential in determining the appropriate emergency response. Other medical emergencies and injuries also require CPR rescue techniques, another topic covered in CPR classes.

Why Should You Take CPR Classes?

Those who pass the CPR training program should feel confident in acting quickly and effectively in an emergency response situation, offering basic life support, and potentially saving a life.

CPR participants learn to assess the situation, call for help, perform CPR, use Automated External Defibrillator – AED training methods, and take safety precautions to protect themselves and the patient.

Basic Life Support and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training offer the participants to recognize several life-threatening emergencies quickly, learn how to give chest compressions, deliver CPR ventilation if there are breathing emergencies or stroke emergencies, and provide Automated External Defibrillator support as first aid. All this knowledge and skills can help you save a life if you ever find yourself in a medical emergency.

What Do You Learn in CPR Classes? – Techniques and Topics

CPR classes give a well-rounded basic life support knowledge, and here are some of the key things about first aid emergency response that are covered in CPR classes:

Recognizing an Emergency Situation

One of the first things that participants learn in CPR classes is to recognize an emergency and provide a rescue technique as an emergency response. This includes identifying signs of a cardiac arrest, such as sudden collapse, lack of responsiveness, and abnormal breathing.

Calling for Help

Once an emergency has been identified, participants are taught to call for help immediately and then provide rescue techniques from their CPR training practices. This may involve calling 911 or activating an emergency response system.

Administering CPR

The main focus of CPR classes is teaching participants how to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). This involves a series of chest compressions and rescue breaths that are performed in a way to help restore breathing and blood circulation.

Instructors will typically demonstrate the procedure, and participants will practice their skills on manikins to ensure they perform it correctly. Some CPR classes include Emergency Oxygen Administration methods and AED training practices.

Proper Hand Placement and Compression Depth

CPR requires proper hand placement and compression depth to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation properly. With CPR rescue techniques participants will learn how to place their hands on the victim’s chest and how deep to compress in order to achieve the best possible results and survival rate.

Participants will learn the different CPR techniques for adults, children, and infants regarding the depth of the compressions and the hand position.

Checking for Signs of Life

Participants will also learn how to check and measure vital signs, such as breathing, pulse, pupils, blood pressure, and responsiveness, before and after CPR.

Safety Considerations

CPR classes will also cover important safety considerations, including protecting yourself from bodily fluids, positioning the cardiac arrest or stroke emergencies victim safely, and avoiding causing unnecessary harm.

CPR Rescue Techniques

CPR certification is required for healthcare providers, lifeguards, and other emergency responders who may need to perform CPR in the line of duty. CPR certification courses teach participants how to perform CPR, rescue breathing, chest compressions, AED training, airway management, and other first aid techniques. In addition to CPR, basic life support includes shock management, bleeding control, and emergency oxygen administration.

Rescue Breathing Techniques

Besides chest compressions, CPR classes participants will learn how to perform rescue breathing techniques. If the individual is not breathing, rescue breathing is used to supply oxygen to the lungs. This involves placing their mouth over the victim’s mouth or nose and breathing air into their lungs.

Automated External Defibrillator Operation

AED training is part of CPR classes and it includes practices on how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED) and when to use it. In cases of cardiac arrest, AEDs are used to deliver a shock to the victim’s heart to restore the heart’s regular rhythm.

AED training is essential, and many public places, such as schools and airports, have AEDs readily available for use in emergencies.

Airway Management

Airway management is the process of examining, planning, and utilizing a wide range of medical procedures and devices, in order to preserve or restore a secure, reliable path for oxygenation and ventilation. These techniques and procedures are used on patients or victims with respiratory failure and airway blockage.

Shock Management

Stabilizing the airway management, breathing with oxygen or emergency oxygen administration,

and using oral mechanical ventilation as needed are the initial steps in shock management.

Acute, reversible shock causes are found and treated quickly; intravascular volume is restored; vasoactive medications are infused; mechanical adjuncts are used when necessary; and important functions are supported until recovery. Shock management also involves keeping the individual warm and dry while elevating their legs to improve blood flow.

Bleeding Control

Bleeding control is critical if the person is injured, as severe bleeding is a life-threatening condition. CPR participants will be taught bleeding control to learn the techniques that stop the bleeding, how to apply pressure to the wound with their hands, and similar. Bleeding control includes applying direct pressure to a wound, elevating the injured limb, and using a tourniquet if necessary.

Compression-Only CPR

Chest compressions are used to help blood flow to the vital organs (brain and heart) in emergencies. CPR can be performed using compression-only CPR or conventional CPR, depending on the situation. Compression-only CPR is recommended for individuals who are not trained in conventional CPR, as it is easier to perform and still increases the chances of survival.

Compression-Only CPR is also a life-saving CPR technique. With out-of-hospital cardiac arrests reaching over 350,000 cases annually, the need for raising awareness that Compression-Only CPR can be as effective as regular CPR is evident.

Emergency Oxygen Administration

Emergency oxygen administration can be used to provide additional oxygen to an individual in respiratory distress. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) might require an emergency oxygen supply in specific first aid cases in order to sustain adequate oxygenation of the important organs during cardiac arrest.

Mechanical ventilation or a bag valve mask (BVM) device is frequently used to deliver it. High-flow oxygen should be provided instantly to increase the odds of survival. During CPR, it’s crucial to regularly check the oxygen saturation levels and modify oxygen flow rates as necessary. However, administering oxygen shouldn’t impede performing or continuing effective CPR as an emergency response.


CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is an emergency response first aid medical procedure that can save the life of a person suffering from cardiac arrest or other conditions or injuries. CPR classes teach individuals how to perform this procedure correctly to act quickly and confidently in an emergency situation. Basic life support is essential for anyone, regardless of profession or age. Knowing how to perform CPR, rescue breathing, chest compressions, and other first aid techniques can save a life in an emergency. CPR certification classes and AED training are available to ensure that individuals are adequately trained in these life-saving techniques, which can make all the difference in saving someone’s life.