top of page

Most Frequently Asked Questions

Is BreathWorks CPR® in compliance with the American Heart Asscociation?

A - Yes we are. BreathWorks CPR® provides EMS Safety training (  which is recognized by the American Heart Association, OSHA and EMSA.


How long is CPR and/or First Aid certification valid?

A- Both certifications are valid for two years


Is a heart attack and cardiac arrest the same thing?

A - No. While a heart attack may lead to a Cardiac Arrest, they are not the same. A heart attack occurs when the blood flow is blocked inside a coronary artery from a blood or fatty clot. The severity of a heart attack is determined by which coronary artery is blocked and how much heart muscle is affected. A cardiac arrest is when the heart actually stops pumping.


Can I break ribs doing CPR?

A - Yes. In the adult victim CPR compressions may break the victim’s ribs. Studies have shown different results. One study says 1 in 3 and another says 1 in 4 sustain broken ribs. However, a recent study from Korea shows out of 71 successfully revived patients just over half sustained at least one rib fracture; 22 had at least 1 broken rib and 14 hand multiple fractures (source). While broken ribs may be a complication from adult CPR, not pressing hard enough will not save a life. For some, the thought of breaking ribs may be a barrier to compressions. Rescuers need to know it’s better to be alive with broken ribs rather than dead with intact ribs. For children and infants broken ribs are less common and usually indicate compressions are too hard. 


What do I do if I break ribs?

A - Frequently ribs are broken with the pressure CPR places on the sternum. Some studies quote up to 30% of cardiac arrest victims have broken ribs as a result of CPR. This happens more frequently the older the victim since the cartilage is less compliant and the bones more easily crackable. But remember, it's better to have a cracked rib than be dead.


Can I kill someone if I do CPR incorrectly?

A -  No. Remember the person in cardiac arrest is already clinically dead. CPR can only help. Even if it's not done "letter perfect" it will probably provide some benefit to the victim.




bottom of page