Early CPR

Chest compressions achieve only 25-30% of normal cardiac output (Resuscitation Council UK 2000). Thus CPR delivers considerably less oxygen to vital organs than they normally receive so it cannot prevent organ damage over an extended period of time. This reinforces the need for early access to expert help in both the hospital and community settings.

The options open to the rescuer with regard to how to commence CPR will vary depending on the availability of equipment and expert assistance.

The purpose of CPR is to effectively perfuse the body's vital organs such as the heart and brain during the period of absent circulation. It will rarely restore spontaneous circulation on its own, which is why the next link in the chain is defibrillation.

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