BLS vs. Hands-only CPR: Pros & Cons

Emergencies come unannounced, and the only thing that matters then is the victim getting immediate medical help. The most comprehensive concepts are BLS, CPR, and first-aid. BLS stands for Basic Life Support, and traditional Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is usually considered to be BLS.

People were initially wary about CPR considering it to be only mouth-to-mouth. However, as the world was introduced to compression-only CPR, more people made active efforts to respond quickly when they saw someone experiencing a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). Outside of the hospital, hands-only CPR, commonly referred to as compression-only CPR, is easier and more efficient than ever.

Let’s understand how these techniques are carried out and the difference between them.

Traditional CPR

Traditional CPR is a relatively complicated procedure, but it is easier to comprehend when divided into three steps:

  1. Dial 9-1-1 after making sure the victim is awake and alert. It is crucial to go back to the victim right after the call.
  1. Pump: Start chest compressions after returning to the unconscious sufferer. Press down onto the chest's center from a height of 2 inches 30 times. Pumping quickly and forcefully is vital at this stage; otherwise, the compressions may be insufficient.
  1. Blow: Cover their lips and pinch the nose while performing the head-tilt/chin-lift technique. Give two breaths and blow into their mouth until you feel the chest rise.

These actions might seem simple enough, but taking breaths can stop the compressions from being as effective as they could be. Traditional CPR is also frequently challenging to administer outside of a hospital.

Hands-only CPR

Hands-only CPR can also be broken down into two simple steps rather than 3:

  1. Call 9-1-1
  1. Push vigorously and quickly in the middle of the chest at the speed of around 100 beats per minute.

Although compression-only CPR is undoubtedly less complicated, is it also more effective?

Researchers recently looked at previous trials to compare compression-only CPR to standard CPR's effectiveness, gauged by the survival rate (defined as leaving the hospital). Compression-only CPR results were discovered to be comparable to regular CPR after the study!

Now that we have understood the difference between BLS and hand-only CPR, here are a few Pros and cons of both:

Both Are Capable Of Saving A Life

In both situations, you'll learn a precise set of rules and use a decision tree to choose the optimal course of action. As an illustration, you learn how to:

  • Examine the airway and keep it open.
  • Breathing treatments.
  • Restart the heart's beat.
  • When one is available, use an automated defibrillator.
  • Keep your heart beating until you can use more sophisticated life-saving measures.

Both Employ Well-Defined Algorithms

Both programs teach a series of processes with precise instructions and decision-making frameworks to ensure you know what to do in various circumstances. These are based on best practices that have been shown via scientific research to prolong life and improve quality of life.

Algorithms are the name given to these actions and decision trees. When someone's life is on the line, you need confidence, and our certifications guide you through these standard processes.

What Differs Between BLS and CPR?

The main difference is that Basic Life Support (BLS) provides more information on handling a cardiac crisis in a medical setting where you are more likely to have access to medical supplies and more sophisticated lifesaving equipment and where people with more medical expertise may be present.

If you have access to these resources, you can take extra precautions to safeguard someone undergoing a cardiac emergency. BLS training is necessary as opposed to CPR training for someone who needs to make more complex healthcare decisions.

BLS outlines roles in a medical context in detail based on who is available to assist so that medical personnel can effectively support one another without interfering with their work. Since so many individuals are probably familiar with CPR, that situation is specific to the medical field.

MyCPR Now offers various courses in CPR and First Aid. Our courses are designed for people who will be assisting "victims" outside of a clinical setting. So that you learn how to handle different medical situations in a non-medical context while awaiting emergency responders in training like this. Get certified so that you never feel helpless!


BLS Certification
Back to blog