Common Myths About CPR: Debunking Them One by One

Common myths about CPR

In medical emergencies such as cardiac arrest, performing CPR within 0-4 minutes is crucial to saving someone’s life. Over 350,000 cardiac arrest cases are reported annually; most happen outside of hospitals, usually at home.

Unfortunately, due to misunderstandings and rumors, bystanders are usually discouraged from taking any action. This often results in increased fatalities due to cardiac arrests, drownings, and other accidents.

In this article, we will discuss the common myths about CPR, debunk any false beliefs, and provide only expert CPR facts. By the end, we hope that you will feel confident enough to further expand your CPR knowledge and invest in much-needed CPR certification.

CPR Does Not Make a Difference

When the victim goes into cardiac arrest, performing CPR can keep them alive until medical help arrives. With CPR, you help pump blood to the person’s brain and other organs, which can prevent permanent brain damage and, ultimately, death.

A person whose heart and breathing have stopped needs immediate medical help. However, the average response time for ambulances is around 7 to 8 minutes. Without bystander CPR, the casualty, in most cases, won’t survive.

I Will Have no Use for CPR in My Everyday Life

Knowing CPR can help you stay calm in difficult situations and accidents in which the victim’s heart and breathing have stopped. Even if your family and close friends are healthy, this can still happen due to cardiac arrest, drowning, electrocution, etc. It’s far better to ignore any urban legends from folklore culture regarding CPR and know the procedure if a situation like this ever presents itself.

It’s Very Difficult to Learn CPR

There are many falsehoods regarding CPR, including that CPR is difficult to learn. However, this technique can be easily mastered with proper training and practice. In fact, studies show that children as young as 9 can perform the procedure with ease after receiving hands-on training.

I Am Not Trained to Perform CPR

When a person in front of you loses their heartbeat and/or stops breathing, whether you possess a CPR certificare isn’t relevant. In medical emergencies such as this one, it’s always better to do something than just stand aside. Remember that there’s no time to waste – you need to act as soon as possible. If you don’t know what to do at that moment, listen to the instructions provided to you by the 911 dispatcher.

Mouth-to-mouth Is Required When Performing CPR

When it comes to rescue breathing, or mouth-to-mouth, people tend to feel uncomfortable. Some of the concerns include having to perform mouth-to-mouth on a stranger and possibly catching something.

However, while the majority of cardiac arrest cases happen at home, the cases that usually end positively occur in public places because they’re more likely to be witnessed. As such, it’s important to be aware that you can still help a stranger by giving CPR even without rescue breathing!

Furthermore, mouth-to-mouth is not mandatory, as studies have shown that performing chest compressions alone can be as effective as chest compressions combined with rescue breathing. Of course, there are two cases in which it’s better to use mouth-to-mouth: drowning incidents and when the victim is a child.

CPR Can Do More Harm Than Good

Sometimes, before performing CPR, bystanders hesitate due to the possibility of inflicting injuries on the victim. However, it’s important to remember that there is no time for hesitation. Once a person goes into cardiac arrest, every minute CPR is delayed increases the chances of brain damage. Sometimes, performing CPR can result in broken ribs, but that is still better than death.

An Online Video Can Teach Me the Ropes of CPR

There are many blogs and videos on the Internet that can help you to better understand the CPR techniques as well as how and when to use them. However, watching a few videos on CPR online is not the same as taking classes with an expert CPR instructor in person.

Taking proper CPR classes can teach you how to react calmly in real-life emergencies and scenarios. In addition, in-person CPR classes can help you improve your confidence and skills, as well as give you a sense of what a real medical emergency requires you to do.

CPR Training Is Very Expensive

This is not necessarily true, as the price of the training depends on the specific course you’re interested in. Naturally, the beginner programs are more affordable than those offering health care provider CPR training.

Take your time looking through the various programs to find the ideal one for you. Depending on the program, CPR training can cost from $14 up to $100 and more, which is a versatile price range. Not to mention the cost of CPR training is nothing compared to the life-saving skills you will gain after mastering this lifesaving procedure.

It Takes a Long Time to Master CPR

One of the discouraging factors when it comes to learning CPR is time. People have false beliefs that completing proper CPR training will last way too long. This is obviously not true, as most CPR certification classes will only take up a few hours of your time.

Of course, there are always a million excuses to not do something. But when it comes to CPR, there are double as many reasons why you should.

Bystanders Performing CPR Can Get Sued

Getting sued for inflicting injuries on the victim is among the many exaggerations regarding CPR. Fortunately, most states in the United States have laws that protects bystanders like yourself. These laws, also known as the Good Samaritan laws, will protect bystanders if they accidentally cause injuries to the victim while trying to save them. However, accepting gifts after the emergency is not advised, as this can negate the law’s protection.

Using an AED Can Easily Hurt Someone

As you probably know, looking for an AED is one of the first steps of CPR, right after calling 911. Some of the many misinformation about the CPR procedure include inaccuracies about using an AED.

Many people have false beliefs that it’s easy to harm someone by using an Automated External Defibrillator. This is absolutely not true. The AED measures the victim’s heart rhythm and only delivers a shock if one is necessary.

Furthermore, bystanders usually don’t even consider defibrillation due to the fact that they are not medical professionals. This is among the more common misconceptions when it comes to AED usage. Automated External Defibrillators are designed to be easily operable by both professionals and the general public, which is why you’ll often find them in public places.

You Cannot Perform CPR Without an AED

If you have access to an Automated External Defibrillator during an emergency, you should most definitely use it. However, if there is no AED around, you can still perform CPR on the victim.

Ideally, you should tell someone to find a defibrillator while you stay with the victim and do chest compressions until the ambulance arrives. By performing CPR on the victim, you can delay fatality until there is an AED available to deliver the life-saving shocks.


Now that we’ve gone over some common myths about CPR, we must note that layperson CPR is a very useful medical procedure that can help you save a life. Whether it’s cardiac arrest or another accident, the importance of knowing how to perform CPR should not be overlooked.

Statistics have shown that over 350,000 cardiac arrests happen every year outside of hospitals. With that information at hand, plus all these debunked rumors, there is no viable reason to put off your CPR training any longer.

While you don’t necessarily have to be certified to perform CPR, it definitely helps when it comes to making quick yet calm decisions on the spot. It’s best to learn with an expert CPR instructor, so sign up and become CPR certified – it’s worth it.

It’s time to take control and make your home feel safer.