Does Hands Only CPR Work?

If you take a basic CPR class, you will learn the traditional style of CPR using chest compressions and breaths to help sustain life in the victim until emergency medical help arrives to take over. There may be a real life situation where giving breaths to an individual is not safe for the first responder and could put the health and safety of the first responder at risk. An example of this type of situation could be if the victim was in a car accident and their face is covered with blood. Another example of a real life situation where giving breaths could be unsafe is if your victim has stopped breathing due to choking, not cardiac arrest.  In this example, giving a breath to the victim could cause the obstruction to slide further down the throat, making it harder for doctors to save the individual.  Studies have shown that even with CPR training, many bystanders were not willing to provide mouth-to-mouth CPR to victims for fear of contracting viral diseases such as Hepatitis or AIDS. The concern for safety measures have continued to increase this year due to the pandemic. For this reason, new regulations have been approved for hands only, or compression only CPR. 

Hands only CPR is much easier to administer, especially if you have no prior CPR training. You don’t have to remember to count how many chest compressions you do. You just continue the compressions until the paramedics arrive.  There are only two steps to remember when using the Hands Only CPR method.  The first step is to call 911.  The average response time for an ambulance to be dispatched and arrive to your location in the United States is between five and ten minutes. Every minutes counts during CPR, so be sure to call 911 yourself if you are alone before starting chest compressions. If there are other people around, instruct someone to call 911 for you so that you can start chest compressions immediately. The second step is to push hard and fast in the center of the victim’s chest. These compressions should not be stopped until the paramedics arrive to take over. If you are not alone, take turns giving the chest compressions so that you do not fatigue and that every chest compression is done with force and consistency.  Remember, the purpose of CPR is to keep blood and oxygen flowing through the body to keep the vital organs and brain alive. Basic first aid and CPR certification online programs are a great way to learn basic first aid CPR training from the comfort of your home and in your spare time.  Online teaching methods also provide learners with cheap CPR course information that can count towards your certification or CPR license. 

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