CPR hands only or CPR using only your hands can save lives. “Almost 90 percent of people who have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest die” says The American Heart Association. But by performing CPR hands only within the first few minutes of a cardiac arrest event, you can double or triple a person’s survival chances. A high percentage of cardiac emergency patients that survived were helped by a bystander. Here are some quick guidelines.
- Check for responsiveness – shake the person and shout “Are you OK?”
- Call 9-1-1 – either tell someone to call or make the call yourself
- Compress – Push hard and fast in the center of the chest at a rate of 100 per minute.
Make sure the victim is flat on their back preferably on the floor. Place the heel of one hand on the center of the victim’s chest and place the heel on top of the other hand lacing your fingers together. Lock your elbows and compress the chest forcefully; make sure you lift enough to let the chest recoil.
Chest compressions should be continued until the person shows obvious life-like breathing, the scene becomes unsafe, an AED (automatic external defibrillator) becomes available, or a trained responder takes over the emergency treatment.
Using alternating mouth-to-mouth breaths is not necessary with this method. Compressions are adequate except in cases where to victim has drowned or suffered a drug overdose. In these cases, use 30 chest compressions to two mouth-to-mouth breaths.
Watch the two-minute video below and consider taking instructions from the Red Cross or other qualified provider. Every household should have at least one person trained in life-saving skills.
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