Performing CPR in a life-or-death situation is mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting. I hope this incredible story about a man who was successfully revived - with no resulting brain damage - after 96 minutes provides the extra burst of strength and motivation you may need the next time someone's life is in your hands. While the article primarily focuses on some of the technology used to keep the heart attack victim from Minnesota alive, at the heart of the story is a very important lesson for anyone trained in CPR... don't ever quit.
Read the Incredible Story | NPR: When Not to Quit: Man Revived After 96 Minutes
"How long are we supposed to do this?"
If you've ever taught or participated in a CPR class, you have almost certainly heard someone ask, "So... how long are we supposed to do this?"
At which point the instructor inevitably answers, "As long as you can safely continue doing so."
During CPR trainings this brief conversation is probably dismissed relatively quickly. People participating in the class aren't likely envisioning a circumstance in which they have to continue rescue breaths and chest compressions for more than a few minutes. But as the story above illustrates... you just never know how long it may take.
As a general rule, anyone performing CPR should continue breaths and compressions until emergency responders can safely takeover. You never know when one more minute may make the difference.