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Hands-Only CPR

Hands-Only CPR Pronunciation: ˈhan(d)z-ˈōn-lē sē-ˈpē-ˈär

Definition: Hands-Only CPR is a simplified version of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) that involves only chest compressions and doesn’t include rescue breaths. It’s recommended for use by people who see a teen or adult suddenly collapse in an out-of-hospital setting. Hands-Only CPR has two easy steps: call 911 (or your local emergency number), and then push hard and fast in the center of the chest.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hands-Only CPR

When should Hands-Only CPR be used?

Hands-Only CPR should be used on teens or adults who suddenly collapse and are unresponsive, not breathing or only gasping. For infants and children, conventional CPR (using both chest compressions and rescue breaths) is generally used because their cardiac emergencies are often caused by respiratory issues.

Is Hands-Only CPR as effective as traditional CPR?

For adult victims of sudden cardiac arrest, studies have shown that Hands-Only CPR can be just as effective as traditional CPR. Importantly, people are more likely to perform Hands-Only CPR due to its simplicity, which can significantly improve the victim’s chances of survival.

Do I need formal training to perform Hands-Only CPR?

While formal training can be beneficial and is encouraged, Hands-Only CPR is designed to be simple enough for untrained bystanders to perform in an emergency. The key steps are to call for help (dial 911 or your local emergency number) and push hard and fast in the center of the victim’s chest until help arrives. The recommended rate is 100-120 compressions per minute, and a common tip is to compress to the beat of the song “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees, which has the right rhythm.