Save a life with hands-only CPR

December 8, 2015 Providence Health Team

Cardiac arrest disrupts blood flow to the brain, lungs and other organs. It’s also a leading cause of death in the US. Although 90 percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside a hospital die, CPR can double — or triple — the chance of survival.

Performing CPR on someone can be scary even if you’re trained. Hands-only CPR can help you overcome fear, and it’s easier than conventional CPR.  

Hands-only CPR eliminates the need for mouth-to-mouth breathing. It relies solely on hard, fast pumps to the center of the chest. If you see a teen or adult collapse suddenly, call 911 immediately. Then press down on the person’s chest at a rate of 100 compressions per minute, or to the beat of the song “Stayin’ Alive.”

Watch this video to learn more about hands-only CPR.

Even if you’ve never been trained, you can still try hands-only CPR in an emergency. Any attempt to provide assistance is better than no help. Don’t be afraid of breaking anyone’s ribs. While that may happen with traditional CPR, such fractures don’t result in internal bleeding or death.

In some instances, hands-only CPR may not be as beneficial as the traditional method. Use conventional mouth-to-mouth CPR if the person:

  • Is a baby or child (up to puberty)
  • Is unconscious or not breathing normally
  • May be a victim of drowning or drug overdose
  • Collapsed due to breathing problems
  • Has prolonged cardiac arrest

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