What Is the Survival Rate for Individuals Who Receive CPR?

TL;DR: CPR is crucial for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) situations, where over 60% of victims perish before reaching medical help. It increases survival chances by maintaining vital blood flow until professional aid arrives, empowering bystanders to act promptly. Survival rates vary based on factors like the setting and timing of CPR. Combining CPR with AED use significantly boosts survival rates. Widespread CPR training is essential for saving lives, emphasizing the need for education and preparedness.

When you or someone you love experiences a sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital, the immediate response and actions taken can significantly influence the outcome. Understanding what is the survival rate for individuals who receive CPR is crucial to discovering its importance.

Over 60% of SCA victims die before making it to a hospital or emergency services arrive on the scene, especially if no one does anything to attempt to save the individual’s life, such as effectively and timely performing CPR practices.

In this article, we’ll explore what CPR is, how it can help patients suffering from sudden cardiac arrest, how it improves their survival, as well as the impact of using AEDs. We elaborate on these specific points to equip you with knowledge that could one day save a life.

Understanding the Meaning and Importance of CPR

CPR is a practical technique that is useful in many urgent circumstances, such as cardiac arrest, when a person’s blood stops circulating to the vitals. In such cases, CPR can maintain circulation and breathing until emergency medical services (EMS) arrive.

Here are three reasons why CPR is so important:

Increases Survival Chances

When a person suffers from a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), the heartbeat stops, blocking the blood flow to the brain and other vitals. CPR, especially if performed immediately, helps maintain vital blood flow, essentially buying time until professional medical help can arrive.

The first moments after an SCA are the most important, and if patients don’t receive CPR, they might experience brain damage. CPR prolongs the window in which defibrillation can be effective, significantly increasing the individual’s chance of survival.

Empowers Bystanders to Act

One of the most powerful aspects of CPR is that it can be performed by almost anyone who has been properly trained. This way, you can immediately respond instead of waiting for emergency services to arrive and start the process by themselves.

Training in CPR not only provides individuals with the skills needed to save lives but also builds the confidence to act in emergencies. Knowing CPR can transform you from a passive bystander into an active lifesaver, reducing the feeling of helplessness and improving outcomes.

Widespread CPR training within communities enhances the overall safety and resilience of those communities. Public knowledge of CPR increases the likelihood that someone can and will intervene in an emergency, creating a safer environment for everyone.

Supports Professional Medical Treatment

CPR is often the first medical intervention used to save a person’s life and promote recovery. Once professional responders take over, effective CPR allows other lifesaving treatments, including defibrillation, medications, and advanced airway management, to be carried out effectively.

Early and effective CPR not only increases the chances of survival but also plays a role in improving the quality of recovery post-cardiac arrest. By maintaining blood flow to the brain and vital organs, CPR can reduce the risk of significant brain damage and other organ injuries, leading to better recovery outcomes.

The use of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in conjunction with CPR significantly increases the survival rates of cardiac arrest victims. CPR prepares the body for successful defibrillation by ensuring that blood and oxygen continue to circulate, making the heart more receptive to defibrillation efforts.

Survival Rates: A Closer Look

To discover the survival rate for individuals who receive CPR, you must consider the impact of several factors. These include the setting (out-of-hospital vs. in-hospital cardiac arrests), the timing of CPR, and the overall health of the person experiencing cardiac arrest.

The timing of CPR is crucial, and early intervention can significantly impact outcomes, which is why knowledge of CPR and swift action are essential.

So, let’s break down these factors to give you a clearer understanding:

Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrests

Studies have shown that out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) has a lower survival rate, with reports suggesting that approximately 10% of those who suffer an OHCA get out of the hospital alive. However, when a bystander performs CPR promptly, the survival rates can increase by two or three times. This starkly highlights the importance of bystander CPR and the critical role it plays in the chain of survival.

In-Hospital Cardiac Arrests

For in-hospital cardiac arrests, the survival rate is generally higher, partially due to the immediate availability of medical personnel and equipment. Studies report that about 17% of patients survive to discharge after receiving CPR in a hospital setting. These numbers highlight the significance of rapid and skilled response within medical facilities.

The Role of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)

The use of AEDs in conjunction with CPR causes a significant increase in survival rates. AEDs are designed to deliver an electric shock to a heart experiencing cardiac arrest, potentially restarting a regular heart rhythm. When bystanders use an AED before EMS arrives, the survival rate can increase to nearly 50% in some cases.

Impact on Survival Rates

The use of AEDs and CPR together has been a game-changer in emergency cardiac care for several reasons:

    • Immediate Response: The key to increasing survival rates in cases of SCA is the rapidity of response. With AEDs placed in public locations and increasingly in homes, the opportunity for immediate defibrillation grows, directly influencing survival rates positively.

    • Increased Efficacy: AEDs enhance the effectiveness of CPR. While CPR helps maintain blood flow to the brain and heart, it cannot correct an irregular heart rhythm. An AED can. Bystanders using CPR and AED together significantly increases the chance of survival compared to CPR alone.

Improving Survival Rates Through Education and Preparedness

The individual’s health before the cardiac arrest and the specific circumstances surrounding the event also influence survival rates. For example, younger individuals with no prior history of heart disease and those who receive CPR immediately after cardiac arrest have higher chances of survival.

The variation in survival rates based on different factors highlights the importance of widespread CPR education and training. Increasing the number of people who know how to perform CPR and use an AED can make a significant difference in community health outcomes.

Many organizations offer CPR training for both healthcare professionals and the general public. These courses provide the expertise and self-assuredness necessary to perform CPR in an emergency.


While the data may appear to be intimidating, you must remember that every second counts in a cardiac emergency. Knowing how to distribute CPR and discovering what is the survival rate for individuals who receive CPR may encourage you to act promptly.

As we’ve seen, several factors influence survival rates, including whether the cardiac arrest occurs in or out of the hospital, how quickly CPR is started, and whether an AED is used. By learning CPR, you equip yourself with the ability to help in these critical moments.

If you’re interested in learning CPR, consider taking a course through CPR Certification Chesapeake. These courses are designed to make you a confident first responder, capable of providing CPR when it’s most needed. Don’t forget that your expertise and timely response can have a major effect on someone’s opportunity to survive.