3 Reasons to Perform Hands-Only CPR

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving technique used to help individuals who are experiencing cardiac arrest. Traditionally, CPR involved a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths. However, in recent years, hands-only CPR has gained recognition as an effective alternative. Hands-only CPR involves performing uninterrupted chest compressions without rescue breaths. It has proven to be simpler, easier to remember, and more accessible to the general public. In this article, we will discuss three key reasons why you might choose to perform hands-only CPR, as recommended by MyCPR NOW.

1. Simplified Technique:

One of the main advantages of hands-only CPR is its simplified technique. Traditional CPR involves a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths. However, rescue breaths require proper training and can be intimidating for some individuals, especially in high-stress situations. Hands-only CPR eliminates the need for rescue breaths, focusing solely on chest compressions. This simplification makes it easier for bystanders and individuals without formal CPR training to perform CPR effectively.

Performing hands-only CPR involves the following steps:

1. Check the surroundings for safety and ensure that the person is unresponsive and not breathing normally.
2. Call for emergency medical help or ask someone nearby to call.
3. Place the heel of one hand on the center of the person's chest.
4. Place the other hand on top of the first hand and interlock the fingers.
5. Position yourself directly over the person's chest, with your shoulders aligned over your hands.
6. Start chest compressions by pressing down firmly and quickly, allowing the chest to rise completely between compressions.
7. Continue compressions at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute until professional help arrives or the person shows signs of life.

By simplifying the technique, hands-only CPR increases the likelihood that bystanders will intervene and provide immediate life-saving care in an emergency.

2. Increased Likelihood of Bystander Intervention:

Prompt initiation of CPR is crucial for improving survival rates in cardiac arrest cases. Unfortunately, studies have shown that bystanders are often hesitant to perform CPR, primarily due to concerns about giving rescue breaths. This hesitation can lead to delays in initiating CPR, significantly reducing the chances of survival for the individual in cardiac arrest.

Hands-only CPR addresses this issue by removing the barrier of rescue breaths. Bystanders who are trained in hands-only CPR or have basic CPR knowledge are more likely to intervene and perform chest compressions without hesitation. By focusing on chest compressions alone, hands-only CPR encourages more bystander involvement, which is essential for improving outcomes in cardiac arrest cases.

3. Quality Chest Compressions:

Effective chest compressions are the cornerstone of CPR. They help maintain blood circulation and oxygen delivery to vital organs until advanced medical care can be provided. Hands-only CPR emphasizes the importance of high-quality chest compressions by eliminating the interruption caused by rescue breaths.

Chest compressions during hands-only CPR should meet the following criteria:

1. Depth: Compressions should be at least 2 inches deep for adults and adolescents, and about 1.5 inches for children.
2. Rate: Compressions should be delivered at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute.
3. Recoil: It is crucial to allow the chest to fully recoil between compressions, ensuring optimal blood flow.

By focusing solely on chest compressions, hands-only CPR encourages individuals to maintain the proper rate, depth, and recoil required for effective chest compressions. This improves the likelihood of providing high-quality CPR and increases the chances of survival for individuals in cardiac arrest.


Hands-only CPR is a simplified and effective approach to providing immediate life-saving care in cases of cardiac arrest. By eliminating the need for rescue breaths, hands-only CPR simplifies the technique, increases the likelihood of bystander intervention, and emphasizes the importance of high-quality chest compressions. MyCPR NOW recognizes the value of hands-only CPR and provides training programs that equip individuals with the necessary knowledge and skills to perform CPR effectively. Remember, in an emergency situation, immediate intervention with hands-only CPR can make a significant difference in the outcome for someone experiencing cardiac arrest.

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