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Directions: Before you start, listen to part of a talk in an anatomy class.

*Vocabulary is sometimes provided in written form when it may be unfamiliar to the student but essential for understanding the lecture

cardiopulmonary resuscitation
xiphoid process

CPR - Transcript

The position of the heart in the chest allows for individuals to apply an emergency technique known as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, commonly referred to as CPR if the heart of a patient should stop. By applying pressure with the flat portion of one hand on the sternum, it is possible to manually compress the blood within the heart enough to push some of the blood within it into the major arteries. This is particularly critical for the brain, as irreversible damage and death of neurons occur within minutes of loss of blood flow.

Current standards call for compression of the chest at least 5 centimeters deep and at a rate of 100 compressions per minute. At this stage, the emphasis is on performing high-quality chest compressions, rather than providing artificial respiration. CPR is generally performed until the patient regains heart activity or is declared dead by an experienced healthcare professional.

When performed by untrained individuals, CPR can result in broken ribs and can inflict additional severe damage on the patient. It is also possible if the hands are placed too low, to manually drive the xiphoid process into the liver, a consequence that may prove fatal for the patient. Proper training is essential. This proven life-sustaining technique is so valuable that virtually all medical personnel, as well as concerned members of the public, should be certified and routinely recertified in its application.