How Many Lives Does CPR Save Annually? A Look at the Stats and CPR Survival Stories

CPR Survival

Perhaps you have witnessed someone resuscitated with CPR. Maybe you have a loved one who wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for a bystander who happened to know CPR. You don’t have to look far to find some pretty spectacular CPR survival stories—most of us know someone who has been a CPR recipient or who has given CPR themselves. If you have yet to obtain your own CPR certification, you may be curious as to the true importance of this life-saving skill.

At EA Certs, we’re big believers that the more people become CPR certified, the safer the world would be. So we’ve gathered some highly telling CPR facts & stats, as well as some survival stories that made the news.

What Percentage of CPR Patients Survive?

The numbers of people who experience cardiac arrest in general life settings outside a hospital are pretty scary. According to the American Heart Association, nearly half a million people die from cardiac arrest annually, and 350,000 people will experience such a life-threatening event outside a hospital setting. Unfortunately, the majority of the people who experience cardiac arrest outside a medical setting will lose their lives without some form of intervention, 90 percent to be exact. However, nearly 45 percent of people who experience cardiac arrest do survive with CPR.

What is the Effectiveness of CPR?

Some of the latest data suggests that only 46 percent of people who need help through CPR get the immediate help they need. Properly and immediately administered CPR can double or even triple the likelihood that someone will survive in the event of a cardiac arrest.

How Long Can the Brain Survive with CPR?

If the heart stops beating, blood stops flowing to the brain. Within four minutes, brain damage can occur. After just seven minutes, an individual can suffer from irreversible damage to the brain. If a CPR-certified bystander steps in and starts CPR immediately when they recognize cardiac arrest has occurred, they can continually push blood and oxygen to the brain until medical help arrives.

In a study of 280,000 people who had experienced cardiac arrest and received CPR, 32,000 of those people had their hearts start beating again without help after CPR was administered for a span of time. The researchers assessed that offering CPR for as long as 38 minutes or more could possibly protect from brain damage.

CPR Survival Stories That Are Encouraging CPR Certification

After a high school basketball student went down during a game, both coaches and players jumped in to save the boy’s life with CPR. After that scary event, the Evart Public School system in Michigan made CPR AED training sessions available through the school.

CPR also became mandatory for students in Florida schools after the state passed a bill in 2021. An advocate for the bill, Ed Kosaic, said that a high-school student saved his life with CPR in a restaurant. Another advocate for the bill, Joe Cobb, claimed his son was given CPR by a bystander friend, and it saved his life.

Are you interested in learning life-saving skills like first aid certification or CPR certification? If so, take a look at our collection of courses, including CPR certification, at EA Certs.