Common Questions People Ask About CPR

Common CPR Questions

CPR can be a scary topic. No matter how much you study lifesaving techniques or take classes, nothing can prepare you for what happens when an emergency actually occurs.

The best thing you can do is be prepared. Here are some of the common CPR questions we answer frequently.


1. Do you perform CPR on someone who is having a seizure?
You should NOT perform CPR (Chest compression’s or Rescue Breaths) on a victim during a seizure. You should help the victim through the seizure by following the steps below.

If after the seizure, the victim becomes unresponsive, then you can perform CPR.

During the seizure, you should follow these steps to make sure the victim passes the seizure safely:

  1. Do not try to stop the person’s movements or restrain the person. Do not place any objects in the person’s mouth.
  2. Prevent injury during a seizure by moving away dangerous objects and putting soft padding such as a jacket under the person’s head. Remove eyeglasses.
  3. Loosen tight clothing around the neck to ease breathing
  4. After the seizure, ensure the victim’s airway remains open with the Recovery Position. Gently turn the person onto one side if vomiting occurs
  5. Call 9-1-1 if the seizure lasts more than 5 minutes; if the person is not known to have epilepsy; if the person recovers very slowly, has trouble breathing or has another seizure; if the person is pregnant; is wearing a medical ID bracelet; or if the person is injured.

If the victim is unresponsive after the seizure, then you can start to perform CPR. Remember to Call 9-1-1.


2. I was told that you should no longer perform rescue breaths (mouth-to-mouth). Is that true?

No, that is not true. You should still perform rescue breaths if you are willing to do so.

Recently, the CPR guidelines changed to include something called “Hands-Only CPR”. Hands-Only CPR is CPR with chest compression’s only and without rescue breaths. This tactic was created because some rescuers might not want to put their mouth on another person’s mouth. Therefore, it is better to do chest compression’s only, instead of doing nothing at all.

If you are trained in CPR and are willing to perform rescue breaths, then you should perform conventional CPR (compressions & rescue breaths) on a victim. If you do not want to put your mouth on the victim’s mouth, perform Hands-Only CPR (Chest Compression’s Only).

Learn more about the importance and procedures of Hands-Only CPR in this article.


3. Do I perform CPR if the victim is choking?


Remember, only perform CPR on a victim that is unresponsive. If they are choking but flailing around and visibly struggling then they are responsive. Perform abdominal thrusts instead. If the person goes unconscious, then start CPR.

Remember to always get consent before performing abdominal thrusts. They should nod or give you their approval before starting. If they can’t respond, approval is assumed and you should start abdominal thrusts immediately.


4. Why should I get involved? I don’t want to get sued or have legal issues if things go wrong.

We understand. Unfortunately, our laws do not always favor the helpful. The best thing you can do is understand the Good Samaritan Laws in your state. Almost every state has laws that protect people who provide emergency care to another. You must remember a few things:

  1. You can’t accept compensation of any kind.
  2. Do not be negligent or reckless.
  3. You must act within the scope of your training. STICK WITH THE GUIDELINES. Always call 9-1-1 first. They will help walk you through the proper procedure.
  4. Do not abandon the person after starting care.

If you follow these rules, than you should be protected by Good Samaritan Laws in your state if your state has them.

You should always understand the laws of the state you are in before providing any emergency care.


5. How Long Should  I Perform CPR For?
You should perform cycles of CPR for as long as you are physically able to or until emergency help arrives. Unless you are a doctor, you will not be able to declare a person dead so you should keep performing cycles of CPR until help arrives. Stay in contact with the 9-1-1 operator and they will provide more information.

Have a question? Email us at and we will answer the question and post it here.

If you are interested in learning more about CPR, please consider taking our FREE CPR Course or the FREE BLS Course. The course material is available at no cost and it will answer all your CPR questions.