Does compression only or hands only CPR help? The answer is yes. If you are unable, unwilling, or cannot do breaths on an individual in distress then compression only also known as hands only CPR is still a way to help an individual in need. The AHA (American Heart Association) in 2008 released a statement about Hands Only CPR, saying that bystanders who witness the sudden collapse of an adult should dial 911 and provide high-quality chest compressions by pushing hard and fast in the middle of the victim’s chest.
There have been commercials promoting Hands-Only CPR released by AHA in February of 2010 when the 2010 Emergency Cardiovascular Care Guidelines were released (Watch the Sample Video here). What the commercials and information failed to emphasize is that although Compression Only CPR is a way to help someone in need but it is not full service CPR protocol. Full service CPR protocol still includes giving breaths or ventilation. The ECC guidelines state that 30 compressions followed by 2 breaths or ventilation at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute. You will continue doing this until help arrives. Hands only CPR is covered as an option in all accredited CPR Classes as far back as 2010 but even the current guidelines we still teach you how to do those breaths. Will the processes change? We have a group of professionals and scientists working on those efforts and new procedural guidelines will be released for 2020. Stay tuned and stay alive! Below you will see the American Red Cross Procedures for the Hands-Only CPR.
American Red Cross Procedures for the Hands-Only CPR:
If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, hands-only CPR is the recommended form of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). It not only increases the likelihood of surviving breathing and cardiac emergencies that occur outside of medical settings, but it’s simple to learn and easy to remember. For a refresher any time, you can print up this page and keep it with the rest of your first-aid supplies.
Before Giving CPR:
- Check the scene and the person. Check to make sure the scene is safe, tap the person on the shoulder to see if they’re OK, and look for signs of rhythmic, normal breathing.
- Call 911 for assistance. If there’s no response from the victim when asked if he or she is OK, call 911, or ask a bystander to call for help.
- Begin compressions. If the person is unresponsive, perform hands-only CPR.
How to Perform Hands-Only CPR
- Kneel beside the person who needs help.
- Place the heel of one hand on the center of the chest.
- Place the heel of the other hand on top of the first hand, and then lace your fingers together.
- Position your body so that your shoulders are directly over your hands, and keep your arms straight.
- Push hard, push fast. Use your body weight to help you administer compressions that are at least 2 inches deep and delivered at a rate of at least 100 compressions per minute. (Just be sure to let chest rise completely between compressions).
- Keep pushing. Continue hands-only CPR until you see obvious signs of life, like breathing, another trained responder or EMS professional can take over, you’re too exhausted to continue, an AED becomes available, or the scene becomes unsafe. To see how to perform hands-only CPR, watch our video. Or, visit our CPR Training Page to find information on taking an online, in person or blended training course.
For full service CPR training, find a local training facility and take a class. #beprepared.