HOW TO SAVE A LIFE WITH HANDS ONLY CPR
Most of us have seen and heard about CPR. This life-saving skill uses chest compressions and ventilation to supply the brain with oxygen in the event of a cardiac emergency. While many of us know about this important technique, not many know how to perform it. Some people may even shy away from learning, simply because mouth-to-mouth resuscitation sounds scary due to communicable disease. With that said, we have good news. You can still save a life using just hands only CPR. In this guide, we’ll show you how.
According to the American Heart Association, over 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac emergencies occur annually in the United States alone. Of the individuals afflicted, 90% do not survive. In many of these cases, timely and properly-performed CPR was not given. Had CPR been performed in those crucial moments, many of those victims may have survived.
WHAT IS TRADITIONAL CPR?
So, what is traditional CPR and how does it work? Short for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, CPR is a hands-on skill that manually pumps a person’s blood circulation to supply the brain with oxygen in the event of heart failure. Traditional CPR can keep oxygenated blood flowing to the brain and other vital organs until more advanced medical treatment can be administered to restore a normal heart rhythm. When the heart stops, the lack of oxygenated blood can cause brain damage in only a few minutes. A person may die within eight to 10 minutes.
While effective, traditional CPR can be somewhat of a dealbreaker for bystanders to perform. For most, this is because performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on another person often seems uncomfortable or even hazardous. Thankfully, hands only CPR has a solution.
WHAT IS HANDS ONLY CPR?
Hands only CPR is CPR without the breaths. That’s right, in hands-only CPR, no mouth-to-mouth breathing is done. While this is great news for those who are averse to mouth-to-mouth contact, many may still ask, is hands-only CPR effective? According to a comprehensive study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the answer is almost always yes.
Why is hands-only CPR as effective as its traditional counterpart? The answer has to do with the purpose of chest compressions and mouth to mouth. Compressions are performed to maintain blood circulation and to supply organs (including the brain) with blood and oxygen. In most cases this is the top priority. Mouth to mouth, on the other hand, supplies the lungs with additional oxygen. This is then passed onto the blood. Usually, the blood has enough oxygen for the victim to only require chest compressions.
WHEN TO USE HANDS-ONLY CPR
Hands-only CPR can be performed during most cardiac emergencies. According to recommendations from the AHA, there are only a few instances where traditional CPR with breaths is preferred. These include cardiac emergencies involving infants and children, drowning victims, or individuals who have collapsed due to breathing issues. In all other cases, hands-only CPR may be used.
HANDS-ONLY CPR STEPS
Performing hands-only CPR is a relatively simple process but should be learned through professional instruction in one of our accredited CPR certification courses. Here are the basics:
How to Perform Hands-Only CPR
- Place your two interlocking hands on the victim’s chest, just above the nipple line.
- Begin chest compressions at 100 – 120 beats per minute. Popular songs at this tempo include “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees or “Walk the Line” by Johnny Cash. Syncing your compressions to any one of these tunes will help you compress at the right rate/tempo.
- Push hard enough to compress the chest at least two inches for adults and teens, or at least one inch for small children.
- Continue administering hands-on CPR until medical personnel arrives.
Learn CPR and register for one of our classes at Save A Life CPR Training Center By successfully completing our CPR certification course here at Save A Life CPR TC, you’ll gain the skills to do both traditional and hands-only CPR. Any questions? Visit our website to learn more, or contact us to enroll today!
The American Heart Association