Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is more commonly referred to as CPR. Even though those three little letters are easy to remember this process is very important. It is a way to help keep a person breathing until medical personnel can arrive. It may be your own child, a spouse, or a complete stranger that ends up needing your help. You definitely don't want to be standing around helpless because you don't know the right way to administer it.
If you don't know the correct way to provide CPR though you don't want to attempt it. You can end up causing more damage to people than your realize. Some good natured citizens have even found themselves involved in a lawsuit by someone they performed CPR on incorrectly. For this reason some people are afraid to offer their assistance even when they know someone's life may be depending upon their actions.
There are many different reasons why a person may stop breathing. Your goal is to assess that situation as quickly as you possibly can. You need to make sure there isn't anything that is preventing them from breathing on their own. If the person was choking and then stopped breathing you may need to simply remove what is lodged. Check to make sure they aren't breathing on their own before you start the process of CPR.
CPR is the combination efforts of blowing air into the mouth of a person and then doing compressions on their chest. This process needs to be repeated until the person is breathing normally on their own or until medical professionals arrive to take over. The concept of blowing air into their body and doing the chest compressions will help with their circulation.
Time is not on your side when it comes to administering CPR though. You need to start it as soon as you determine a person needs it. Some people carry a CPR mask in their pocket so they can help strangers without worrying about contagious diseases. You have nothing to lose by taking the time to learn the correct way to perform CPR. You never know when someone around you is going to need this type of help in order to survive.