Hands-only CPR can save lives. The American Heart Association states that “Almost 90% of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. CPR, especially if performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.” Most people who survive a cardiac emergency are helped by a bystander.
- 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.
The victim should be 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.
Alternating mouth-to-mouth breaths is not necessary using this method. Compressions are adequate except in drowning or drug overdose situations where 30 chest compressions are followed by two mouth-to-mouth breaths.