Hands-Only CPR vs. CPR with Mouth-to-Mouth Resuscitation

Hands-Only CPR vs. CPR with Mouth-to-Mouth Resuscitation

Hands-Only CPR vs. CPR with Mouth-to-Mouth Resuscitation

If you’ve spent a few hours glued to reruns of Grey's Anatomy, ER, or House, you may think you’ve got the whole CPR thing down. 

You’d be wrong. 

The TV fact-checkers at screenrant revealed that “Derek should be administering thirty chest compressions for every two rescue breaths. Instead, Derek is giving five chest compressions for every one breath!”

Okay, let’s get back to business: CPR training is critical. And here’s what you need to know about the difference between hands-only CPR and traditional CPR with rescue breaths.

Hands-only CPR — AKA compression-only CPR — is simply CPR without rescue breaths. And with a pandemic on our hands, hands-only CPR is a smart move. (Plus, it gives poor Derek plenty of time to take a refresher CPR course!)

This past June, the American Heart Association (AHA) issued interim cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) guidelines that apply during the COVID-19 pandemic. The AHA recommended bystanders and lay rescuers administer “hands-only” CPR without mouth-to-mouth ventilation to limit exposures to the Coronavirus.

Here’s the good news: the American Heart Association has also noted that “Hands-only CPR carried out by a bystander has been shown to be as effective as CPR with breaths in the first few minutes during an out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest for an adult victim.”

Hands-Only CPR is an easy-to-learn first aid technique that helps keep victims of a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) or other medical emergencies alive until medical professionals can take over. The life-saving technique keeps blood (and therefore oxygen) pumping through the victim’s body. Oxygen is needed to maintain brain and vital organ function. 

How to Perform Hands-Only CPR

Step 1: Make sure the scene is safe and firmly tap the person on the shoulder. In a loud, clear voice, ask, “Are you okay?” Look for signs of rhythmic, normal breathing.

Step 2: If the victim isn’t responsive, immediately call 911 or ask another bystander to do so. If possible, ask a bystander to locate an AED.

Step 3: If the person isn’t breathing, kneel beside them and position your body so that your shoulders are directly over your hands, keeping your arms straight.

Step 4: Begin hands-only CPR by placing the heel of one hand on the center of the chest.

Step 5: Place the heel of your other hand on top of the first hand, then lace your fingers together.

Step 6: Push hard, push fast. Use your body weight to help you administer compressions that are at least two inches deep and delivered at a rate of at least 100-120 compressions per minute (if you want to get your rhythm going, think “Stayin’ Alive,” “Girls Just Wanna’ Have Fun” or “Crazy in Love.”) Be sure to let the victim’s chest rise completely between compressions.

Step 7: Continue Hands-Only CPR until you see signs of life, an AED becomes available, or until another trained responder or EMS professional can take over. Discontinue CPR if the scene becomes too unsafe for you to continue.

(SOURCE: Adapted from the American Red Cross)

For more information on purchasing an AED, CPR and AED Training call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. You can also email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

DISCLAIMER: Information and resources found on the aed.com website and blog are intended to educate, inform, and motivate readers to make their health and wellness decisions after consulting with their healthcare provider. The authors are not healthcare providers. NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.