November 2016
Peer Reviewed

FIGURE 1 In circumferential 1-hand placement, one hand is used to stabilize the back of the animal. The other hand compresses directly over the heart using the index and middle fingers and thumb.


Definition & Pathophysiology

  • Cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA) occurs when there is cessation of cardiac function and there are no spontaneous respirations. 
    • CPA can cause global hypoxemia, multiple organ failure, and, eventually, death.1
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) provides ventilatory and circulatory support to patients that undergo CPA. 
    • The goal is to establish oxygen delivery—most importantly, to the cerebrum and myocardium—without causing further organ injury.1 
    • Return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) occurs when there is a sustained perfusing rhythm, significant breaths (more than an agonal breath), and more than a brief pulse.2
  • Published in 2012, the Reassessment Campaign on Veterinary Resuscitation (RECOVER) guidelines are the first evidence-based, consensus-based guidelines for veterinary CPR.3 

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