CPR Study Guide

Top Tips Study Guide for CPR Tests


CPR, AED, First Aid, BBP and BLS Certification

This study guide is an accessible and simple way for you to find out what information will be included in your exam.

What will I need to know?

What you will need to know for your CPR/AED or First-Aid course depends on which course you are taking. Below is an overview of the key points for each course area.


When a person's heart stops, oxygenated blood is no longer being pumped through their body to organs that need it. At this point, they have only 4 minutes before irreparable brain damage occurs. CPR works, and it increases survival rates.

If you see someone collapse, act quickly. Call out to them and ask if they're okay. If they do not respond, call 911. Put the phone on speaker mode. If needed, the 911 operator can instruct you in performing CPR. Examine the area and make sure that it is safe for you to approach. You can't help anyone if you are injured. Check to see if they are gasping or if you can find a pulse. Do not spend more than 10 seconds trying to find a pulse.

CPR is a combination of chest compressions and compression ventilation (mouth to mouth). Chest compressions manually pump the heart when it has stopped while compression ventilation inflates the victim's lungs.

To administer chest compressions, link your fingers together, palms facing out and put the heel of your hand on the victim's breastbone. Push down hard at a rate of 100 to 120 beats per minute. A good tip is to compress to the rhythm of "Stayin' Alive" by The Bees Gees or "The Imperial March" from "Star Wars". You can take rests for up to 10 seconds, but no more.

Compression ventilation is performed by lifting the victim's chin with two fingers and breathing into their mouth until you see their chest rise. These should be performed at a rate of 6 breaths per minute and should accompany regular chest compressions.


First-aid administration really depends on what situation the victim is in. Make sure you have a fully stocked first-aid kit to deal with all kinds of potential issues.

Open Chest Wound
Apply direct pressure to stop bleeding. It is best to avoid dressing an open chest wound if possible. A dressing only needs to be applied if the patient is losing a lot of blood. However, if necessary the first thing to do is call 911. Then examine the victim to determine how many wounds will need dressing. Remove any clothing that is in the way of the wounds. Make sure the dressing is slightly larger than the wound so that it will be able to stay on.

Puncture Wounds
If the wound is bleeding excessively, call 911. Apply direct pressure until the bleeding slows. Then carefully clean the wound with soap and water. After that wrap the wound in sterile gauze.

Call 911 immediately. Administer CPR if the patient is not breathing and apply direct pressure until emergency assistance arrives. Raise the injured limb above the heart to reduce bleeding. If possible clean the amputated body part and give it to an emergency respondent.

Cuts and Scrapes
Stop bleeding by applying direct pressure. If the injury is bleeding excessively or is more than 1/4 of an inch deep, call 911. Clean the wound with soap and water and apply an ointment. Then wrap the injury or apply a bandage to prevent infection. Give the patient an over the counter pain medication. If an infection occurs, seek medical attention.

CPR / AED / First-Aid

Send someone to bring an AED to the victim. AEDs are very simple. All you have to do is open it, and turn it on and the AED will talk you through everything else. When the AED says "clear" make sure you are not touching the victim.

Bloodborne Pathogens

Bloodborne pathogens consist of Hepatitis A, B and C, HIV and AIDS among others. They can be transmitted through contact with bodily fluids such as blood, mucus, semen, vaginal fluids, or Cerebrospinal fluid. They cannot be transferred through saliva, vomit, tears, sweat, urine, sputum, or nasal fluids. The use of fluid-proof safety equipment such as rubber gloves, smocks, condoms, or face masks can prevent the spread of bloodborne pathogens.

Healthcare – CPR / AED

When performing CPR make sure that there is nothing that could become a threat to your welfare. For example, if there is a possibility of transferal of bloodborne pathogens, do not administer CPR. Stop administering CPR when the patient regains a pulse, or when emergency assistance arrives to take over.

Basic Life Support (BLS)

The Center for Disease Control issued a statement saying that the most common cause of death in the United States is heart disease. This risk can be increased by factors like age, health, and lifestyle. Heart disease causes the heart to stop which cuts off the oxygen supply to the brain. CPR, however, keeps blood moving around the body and makes sure oxygenated blood is getting to the brain.

The Good Samaritan Law ensures that even if something goes wrong when you are administering CPR or first-aid, you cannot be held accountable. As long as you were acting voluntarily without any expectation to be compensated, you will be legally protected.

What else can I do to ace the test?

This is still a test and therefore you should do what you would do before any test. Revise thoroughly and ensure you get a good night’s sleep and eat a healthy breakfast. Be sure to take care of yourself before the test so that you have the best chance of passing.