6 Pros and Cons of CPR


CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) is a technique that is used to revive someone when they have stopped breathing. This technique provides someone that has had a heart attack or other issues sustain until emergency medical help can arrive. Of course there is controversy surrounding the technique now when it comes to the rescue breathing part of the process. The mouth to mouth rescue breathing part of CPR has come under question.

CPR has been around since the early 1900’s, although some scholars site that it has actually been around since the 1700’s and only perfected in the early 1900’s. The most important part of CPR is the chest compressions according to many experts and chest compression activity actually dates back to the mid 1700’s.

The Process

In recent years the process has come under fire. The mouth to mouth resuscitation has been considered not the best way to do the rescue breathing for anyone that is unable to breathe on their own. There are different processes for adults, children and infants. While they are all similar each process has to be tweaked slightly to be appropriate for a person of a given size.

Training is widely available for anyone that is interested in becoming certified in the process. While there is currently quite a bit of debate and buzz about the mouth to mouth part everyone is in agreement that the process can and does save lives every day. Basically when someone is performing CPR they are keeping a person’s heart beating and lungs breathing.

List of Pros of CPR

1. Saves Lives
CPR saves lives. In cases of drowning, choking, heart attack and other instances where a person’s blood supply to the brain is interrupted because of the inability to breathe or when the heart stops pumping every second counts and CPR can afford a person those seconds to keep permanent brain damage from setting in.

2. Keeps Damages Down
CPR can quickly restart the heart so that blood begins flowing to the brain again. It can help to resuscitate a drowning victim quickly.

List of Cons of CPR

1. Broken Ribs
It takes about 125 pounds of pressure to perform CPR. That amount of pressure can crack and break the ribs. Of course when you consider that the alternative could be death or disability then the potential damage to the ribs does not seem so bad.

2. Lung Contusions
The force of CPR can cause bruising to the interior of the lungs. Lung contusions will often resolve on their own with some supportive care like extra oxygen but in some instances they can be deadly. Lung contusions can be severe enough to require a mechanical breathing apparatus to help the injured breath and intensive care treatment to heal.

3, Mouth to Mouth Can Spread Disease
Mouth to mouth resuscitation which is often a part of CPR can be a way to spread disease from one person to another. The quick reaction of a by stander or a medical professional in a situation where someone needs to be resuscitated can cause the person that is doing the resuscitation to pick up a disease or illness. Mouth to mouth is one of the quickest ways to catch what someone else has.

4. It Can Fail
CPR is often thought of as the fail safe way to revive someone but the reality is if someone is not trained in the proper technique they can actually kill someone with CPR. The chest compression have to be done just right. With the chest being compressed 1.5 to 2 inches with each compression it can be difficult to get it just right and can result in causing very serious fatal damage when not done correctly. While some people feel that if the attempt is made and it is not done correctly at least there is a chance of revival and if no attempt is made than eminent death will be the result.


CPR can and does save lives each and every day. To avoid the pitfalls all it really takes is to have the proper training. Properly trained and certified people can help to keep the cons at bay while improving the survival rate of people that would not survive without it.

The mouth to mouth part of CPR can be dangerous to both parties when it comes to passing around disease but there are mouth dams that can be used that will ensure safety. Of course it would then become dependent on the people that are certified to carry the mouth dams with them at all times.

CPR has been around for a long time and it will likely remain an important part of first aid training because it is effective and can be taught to just about anyone.