On October 18th, 2010 the European Resuscitation Council launched the new European Guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, based on a new scientific evidence published since the last revision five years ago. About 500 000 people suffer a sudden cardiac arrest every year in Europe. Both bystanders and healthcare providers play key roles in providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation for victims of cardiac arrest. The most important action in resuscitation is chest compression. This simple procedure is safe and markedly increases the victim´s chance of survival. The author summarizes major issues in the European Resuscitation Council Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, primarily the basic life support that affects all rescuers, whether healthcare providers or lay rescuers. Immediate chest compressions, early defibrillation, and early therapeutic hypothermia are the key factors of resuscitation today.