Todd Jerome Jenkins, MS, CSP, SMS, CHST, STSC

Safety Aficionado & Ph.D. Student

Hands-only CPR

Hands-only CPR, also known as bystander CPR, is a potentially lifesaving technique that can be used to save someone in cardiac arrest. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), only about 46% of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest receive bystander CPR. This number can be improved through increased awareness and general public training in Hands-Free CPR. In this week’s safety topic, we will discuss the importance of Hands-Free CPR and the steps to perform it properly.

Cardiac arrest is a sudden and unexpected heart stoppage, which can occur due to various reasons such as heart attack, drowning, or electrocution. Without immediate intervention, cardiac arrest can lead to death in minutes. Every year, over 350,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting, and only 12% survive. However, if Hands-Free CPR is administered within the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, the survival rate can increase by 2-3 times.

Hands-Free CPR is a simplified version of traditional CPR involving chest compressions without mouth-to-mouth breathing. This technique is recommended for people not trained in CPR or uncomfortable with mouth-to-mouth breathing. The AHA recommends Hands-Free CPR as the first step for bystanders to take in the event of cardiac arrest. The technique involves the following steps:

  • Call 911 or ask someone else to call.
  • Place the victim on a hard surface.
  • Place the heel of one hand on the center of the victim’s chest, between the nipples.
  • Place the other hand on top of the first hand.
  • Push down hard and fast, compressing the chest about 2 inches.
  • Repeat the compressions at 100-120 per minute until help arrives.

Studies have shown that Hands-Free CPR can be as effective as traditional CPR in saving lives. The AHA states that Hands-Free CPR can be even more effective in some cases, as it is easier to perform and requires less learning time. The AHA also recommends that people receive training in CPR, including Hands-Free CPR, to increase their confidence and ability to respond in an emergency.

Hands-Free CPR is a simple but effective technique that can save lives during cardiac arrest. By knowing the steps involved and receiving training in CPR, including Hands-Free CPR, you can increase your confidence and ability to respond in an emergency. Call 911 immediately, use an AED if available, and perform Hands-Free CPR until help arrives. Together, we can work to increase the survival rate for people who experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting.

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