I have taken CPR training and I have a question about it.

Sometimes one reads in the newspaper about a person injured in a car crash or anything tried CPR in vain.

I'm asking when a person is seriously injured, what's the point of CPR?

Why would you try CPR when the blood is flowing away anyway?

  • Nowadays, the strategy of the emergency services is "Treat and Run", as opposed to "Load and Go" or "Stay and Play". Basically, your goal with patients who need to be hospitalised in an emergency is to get them ASAP to an emergency room. The "Treat" refers to minimising further damage experienced during the transport (i.e. CPR to keep brain and tissue damage minimal). Even with critical bleeding, patients can still make the cut. In cases like these, the emergency personnel will operate using cABCD (critical bleeding, Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Disabilities),
    – Narusan
    Jan 6, 2019 at 11:52
  • So it depends on the severity of the injury, but if there is any chance, one will try to prevent as much blood loss as possible, do CPR and rush to the hospital. This does depend however if CPR is not feasible during transport. [citation needed, hence not an answer]
    – Narusan
    Jan 6, 2019 at 11:53
  • The majority of traumatic arrests in modern life are due to blunt trauma. In blunt trauma it's common for there to be little or no external bleeding. There is likely internal bleeding, but there's no way to be sure of that at the scene. So when you come upon the car crashed into a tree with a pulseless driver at the wheel, how do you know whether he died from injuries sustained in the crash or from a heart attack while driving? The answer is you probably don't.
    – Carey Gregory
    Jan 6, 2019 at 16:46

1 Answer 1


I am a certified CPR trainer.

The purpose of CPR is to keep the circulation running such that the vital organs receive enough oxygen to survive the period until the medical professionals take over. We literally buy time for the victim.

If there is a serious injury such that a significant part of the available blood is pushed out of the body, we have to treat the wound first.

  • The simplest way is to find a second helper that can push something (preferably a sterile bandage, but we have other priorities right now) on the wound such that it is closed. So you can focus on the CPR.
  • If you have proper training to apply a tourniquet, you can use this if the wound is on an arm or leg.
  • Or just improvise to close up the wound.

But there is also the psychological effect. Sometimes it is better to do something (even in vain) than to do nothing. Miracles do happen and it can be important for the next of kin that you can tell them that you have done all that was possible.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.