Frequently, victims of heart attacks, stroke or injuries do not survive the time it requires for the arrival of emergency medical responders without the assistance of bystander CPR. Although conventional CPR is more effective for victims of heart failure and respiratory arrest, Hands Only CPR can help a victim survive long enough to receive emergency assistance and make it to the hospital. According to the American Heart Association, Hands Only CPR can be just as effective as conventional CPR under certain circumstances.
What is Hands Only CPR?
The American Heart Association recommends that Hands Only CPR is performed on adults only, and is designed for adults that have suddenly collapsed in front of a witness. Hands Only CPR is performed without the mouth-to-mouth breathing component of conventional CPR, and is not recommended for teenagers, children, infants or any adult found unconscious. Hands Only CPR can be very effective as a rescue option for those who are not certified in CPR or have not been recertified for several years.
Hands Only CPR Instructions: Two Steps
Step One: The moment you witness an adult collapse, quickly designate a person to call 911 or dial it yourself if you are alone. Ensure the victim is lying on their back and the alignment of their body is straight. Position yourself and kneel down on the side of the victim at their chest.
Step Two: Place the heel of your hand over the center of the victim’s chest just below the nipple line. Place your other hand over the hand on the chest and entwine your fingers and pull them up and off the victim’s chest. While keeping your arms straight, press the heel of your hand hard and fast to perform high-quality chest compressions that will circulate the remaining oxygen in the blood to the brain and increase the victim’s chance for survival. High-Quality chest compressions are performed per CPR guidelines:
- The American Heart Association recommends that you pump chest compressions to the beat of the classic song “Staying Alive” by the singing group the Bee Gees.
- Maintain the chest compressions without interruption at about 100 times a minute.
- Continue chest compressions until the emergency medical team arrives or the victim becomes awake and alert.
Hands Only CPR for Infants, Children and Adults
Although Hands Only CPR can help you save lives, the American Heart Association encourages everyone to learn CPR and gain the confidence of certification. When you have the knowledge to assess an individual in crisis, have the understanding of how to deliver rescue breaths appropriately, and can perform the mechanics of CPR, you will be better prepared with the confidence to save lives. Since most accidents and injuries occur in the home, becoming certified in CPR may empower you to save someone you love.