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Hands-Only CPR

Be Prepared in an Emergency
Julie Funk, MS, RD, CDE, LDN

If someone suddenly collapsed right in front of you, would you know what to do? Probably, the answer is "no." Or possibly, "maybe, but I don't want to do mouth-to-mouth breathing."

Many of us have had CPR training in the past, but in an emergent situation forget all those many details about how many breaths, how many compressions, and for how long. Realizing this, the American Heart Association has developed a new training program called Hands-Only CPR.

This program only involves two simple steps:

  1. Call 9-1-1
  2. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest.

That's it, two simple steps to save a life.

It is recommended for use by people who see a teen or an adult suddenly collapse in an "out-of-hospital" setting such as at work, home or a public place. An 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. The benefit of Hands-Only CPR is that it eliminates the fear of forgetting the steps and the reservation of doing mouth-to-mouth breathing.

You might wonder how Hands-Only CPR, without the breathing, 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.

Chester County Hospital has an exciting opportunity for people who want to be prepared to do Hands-Only CPR if needed. As part of the Pennsylvania Heart Rescue Project, the Hospital 's Community Health Education Department received a grant to purchase American Heart Association CPR Anytime training kits to share with community members wishing to be trained and willing to train others. A member of Community Education will come to your group or business and provide training in doing Hands-Only CPR as well as education on recognizing the earliest signs and symptoms of an impending heart attack. After the training the kit, which includes a learning manikin, a CPR skills practice DVD, supplies and an instruction booklet, is left behind for ongoing practice and sharing with others. It is the perfect way to ensure everyone is up-to-date and confident to act fast in the case of an emergency.

To learn more about arranging for training and acquiring a kit, call 610.738.2300.

And, don't delay. When a heart attack happens, minutes count! Call 9-1-1 immediately!

Free Local Trainings >>

Here's an instructional video provided by the American Heart Association:

Last Updated: 2/20/2015