Hands-Only CPR: When Should You Use It?

Hands-Only CPR: When Should You Use It?

Cardiac arrest is a medical emergency that can lead to death. In most cases, it's caused by a problem with the heart's electrical system. This can happen suddenly, even in otherwise healthy people. When someone has a cardiac arrest, their heart stops beating and blood stops flowing to the rest of the body. Without CPR or defibrillation (a shock from a machine), this condition will likely lead to death within minutes for adults who aren't in the hospital at the time of the collapse.

When bystanders witness a cardiac arrest

When bystanders witness cardiac arrest, they often panic. The fear of doing something wrong is a major barrier to performing CPR. When you see someone collapse, your first instinct may be to call 911--and that's what you should do! But before you hang up the phone (or even before you dial it), think about whether there's anything else that could help this person right now.

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops 

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating and blood stops flowing to the rest of the body. This can happen suddenly, or it can be a result of a chronic condition such as heart disease or diabetes. Cardiac arrest is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention; if you are not trained in CPR, calling 911 is your best bet for helping someone having a cardiac arrest.

The brain relies on oxygen-rich blood to function properly, so without it, brain cells begin to die within minutes. Brain death means that there is no chance of recovery; even after being revived by medical professionals or paramedics with defibrillation (a device used to shock someone's heart back into rhythm), people who have been without oxygen long enough may never wake up again because they will have suffered severe brain damage from lack of oxygen over time--even if their hearts start beating again!

A helper who performs CPR may be able to save a life

If you witness someone having a cardiac arrest, do your best. If you don't know what to do, call 911 immediately and ask for help from the dispatcher. If you are trained in CPR and can quickly get to the scene of an emergency situation like this one, perform it right away.

If there isn't time for traditional CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), then performing hands-only CPR is the next best option because it can still save lives even if someone doesn't have access to an AED (automatic external defibrillator). Hands-only CPR consists of chest compressions only; there are no breaths given during this procedure--it follows the beat of "Stayin' Alive" by The Bee Gees as opposed to "Staying Alive" by Gloria Gaynor--and it's effective for adults who have gone into cardiac arrest due to ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia (VF/VT).

You don't need the training to perform hands-only CPR

Hands-only CPR is a technique that can be used to help a person who has stopped breathing and is in cardiac arrest. You don't need any special training to do hands-only CPR, but it's important that you know the steps and start compressions as soon as possible.

Cardiac arrest occurs when your heart stops beating and blood flow stops. This can happen suddenly (called sudden cardiac arrest) or over time (called chronic cardiac arrest).

It's not the same thing as a heart attack; instead, it means your heart muscle isn't getting enough oxygen-rich blood through its arteries or veins. That lack of oxygen causes cells throughout your body to die within minutes unless they're given immediate medical attention--which includes chest compressions plus rescue breathing or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation with oxygen

If you witness someone having a cardiac arrest

If you witness someone having a cardiac arrest, do your best. You can't do any harm and that's about it. If you're trained to perform CPR, then do so--but even if you aren't, doing something is better than nothing at all! Call 911 and stay with the person until help arrives.

If there are other people around who are trained in CPR or first aid (maybe they've taken an online course), ask them if they would like to assist before calling 911 yourself. Never attempt to revive people who are unconscious or otherwise injured; instead, call for help immediately by dialing 9-1-1 as soon as possible so that paramedics can get on the scene quickly enough before any more damage occurs due to lack of oxygen reaching vital organs such as brain cells which need oxygenated blood flow in order for us humans not only survive but thrive too!


If you witness someone having a cardiac arrest, do your best. You don't need to be trained in CPR or even have medical experience. The most important thing is to act quickly and keep going until help arrives.


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