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3 Reasons Why Hands-Only CPR is Best for Bystanders

Every second counts in a medical emergency – especially a sudden cardiac arrest.


Imagine you’re a bystander when someone experiences one. How would you respond?


Bystander CPR (CPR not delivered by a medical professional) is shown to double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s survival chances, but only about half of victims receive it. What’s more, while nearly all adults in a 2022 American Heart Association survey agree CPR saves lives, only 6 in 10 say they would initiate it.  


Many people shy away from providing CPR because they feel they lack proper knowledge and training.


What about you? Perhaps you think CPR is too complicated, or maybe you’re uncomfortable providing rescue breats (mouth-to-mouth).


There’s good news. Hands-Only CPR is widely recommended for bystanders – like you – over conventional CPR (chest compressions and rescue breaths). Hands-Only CPR, designed to be simple and effective, can be a game-changer in the mission to improve cardiac arrest survival.


 Here’s three reasons why Hands-Only CPR is the way to go!


1.    It’s highly effective


Adults and teens have been shown to benefit from Hands-Only CPR as much as from conventional CPR in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest. However, children, infants, and pregnant women typically require conventional CPR.


An adult or teen in cardiac arrest usually has enough oxygen in their blood to sustain organ function – especially the brain – for a few minutes. The key is to get blood circulating again. Chest compressions in Hands-Only CPR move blood though the body and can keep organs healthy until medical professionals arrive.  


2.    It’s easy to learn and to remember


Hands-only CPR has just two steps:


1.        Call 911. It’s key that emergency responders are on their way while you’re helping the victim.


2.        Push hard and push fast on the person’s chest.


§  Each compression should be at least two inches deep.


§  Aim to deliver 100-120 compressions per minute. Need help keeping the right rhythm? Pop songs such as “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees, “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira, and “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga, have a tempo of 100-120 beats per minute (bpm). They’re among more than 100 songs the American Heart Association offers up to help bystanders properly deliver compressions. Sing or hum along to your song of choice while your hands perform life-saving work.


3.    It’s what bystanders are more willing to do


Any attempt at CRP beats doing nothing  – even if you’re not trained. A person is cardiac arrest is technically dead. Without immediate CPR, their chances of survival are virtually zero. You’re they’re best – and probably only – chance of living.  


Since Hands-Only CPR is designed to be simple to learn and remember, bystanders are more likely to grasp it and willing to use it.   


Still need a confidence boost so you’re ready to jump in with Hands-Only CPR? At Starting Hearts, we can provide specific training for making a life-saving difference.


Contact us for more information:               


Tiffany Moss is a registered nurse and healthcare writer based in Texas.




Sources of hyperlinks


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Only about half,giving%20CPR%20%7C%20American%20Heart%20Association


2022 American Heart Association Survey,giving%20CPR%20%7C%20American%20Heart%20Association



Hands-Only CPR,giving%20CPR%20%7C%20American%20Heart%20Association



More than 100 songs,giving%20CPR%20%7C%20American%20Heart%20Association


Any attempt


Specific training