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ASK JULIE - Hands-Only CPR

JULIE FUNK, MS, RD, CDE
Director of Community Outreach and Wellness Services Chester County Hospital

"I have heard that you can now do CPR without the mouth-to-mouth breathing. Is this true?"

Yes! "Hands-Only" CPR is a new training program of the American Heart Association. Recommended for use by people who witness a teen or adult suddenly collapse in an "out-of-hospital" setting (such as at work, home or a public place), this new technique takes the guess-work out of traditional CPR and reinforces simple life-saving measures.

HANDS-ONLY CPR INVOLVES ONLY TWO STEPS:

  1. Call 9-1-1 (or send someone to do that)
  2. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest.

It's that easy! Two simple steps to save a life. This does not mean that conventional CPR has been eliminated. Medical emergencies involving infants up to age 1, children up to puberty, anyone already unconscious and not breathing normally, or victims of drowning, drug overdose, collapse due to breathing problems, or prolonged cardiac arrest all warrant the use of conventional CPR with mouth-to-mouth breathing. The problem is that many people are not CPR-certified, or if they are, they may not be confident enough or willing to use it. A very unfortunate fact is that 89% of people who suffer an out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest die because they don't receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene. "Hands-Only" CPR eliminates the fear of forgetting the steps and the reservation of doing mouth-to-mouth breathing.

You might wonder, then, how "Hands-Only" CPR without mouth-to-mouth, can be helpful. Recent research has found that when a person suddenly collapses his or her lungs and blood contain enough oxygen to keep vital organs healthy for the first few minutes as long as someone provides high-quality chest compressions with minimal interruption to pump blood to the heart and brain.


Do you want to learn more?

We are now offering a new and exciting Healthy Living program entitled HANDS ON HEARTS - WHEN MINUTES COUNT. During the hour-long program attendees will learn not only how to correctly perform "Hands-Only" CPR, but also critical information about recognizing the earliest warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack, and what to do and not do that could help prevent a heart attack and even save a life.

As part of the Pennsylvania Heart Rescue Project, we are able to provide you with an American Heart Association "Hands-Only" CPR Training kit that your company can keep for practice and use to train others. Also included in this program is information about using an AED (automated external defibrillator). This program is intended for those who are not required to be CPR certified, but who would benefit from learning what to do if they are in an emergency situation. If you are interested in this program, call Sara Pevoto at 610.738.2455.

Last Updated: 12/16/2013