Hands-Only CPR Gets Thumbs Up
Not Trained in Conventional CPR? Chest Compressions Alone Could Save Someone in Cardiac Arrest
WebMD News Archive
Hands-Only CPR continued...
Research shows that while bystander CPR can more than double a person's
chances of surviving cardiac arrest, in most cities it is performed in only
about 27% to 33% percent of the cases. Chest compression-only CPR may help
lower bystander reluctance to perform CPR.
The AHA is also recommending changes in the way CPR is taught, streamlining
the technique by focusing more on how important chest compressions can be in
keeping someone alive until they can get to a hospital.
Some 94% of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital,
according to the AHA. On average, only 24% of cardiac arrests that occur
outside of a hospital have had a bystander perform CPR.
How can you tell if someone's heart has stopped beating? According to the
AHA, it's when the person collapses, does not respond to gentle shaking, stops
breathing after two rescue breaths, and is still not breathing, coughing, or moving.
If you do give someone CPR, remember to call for help -- 911 -- immediately
as it's intended only as a short-term measure until emergency medical help
The hands-only CPR technique is only for adults whom you have seen collapse
outside the hospital. Hands-only CPR is not to be used for children or infants
or an adult whose heart has stopped because of non-cardiac causes such as a
drug overdose or near drowning. In those cases, the AHA says conventional CPR
with breaths is still the best technique to perform. The AHA still encourages
people to learn conventional CPR at which time they will also learn how to do
That statement and new recommendations are published in the April 29 edition