It’s easy to learn and the benefits of knowing how to perform it are staggering. Learning “Hands-Only CPR” could save someone’s life, and Katie Connolly, a CPR manager for the American Heart Association, said 80 percent of sudden cardiac arrests happen outside the hospital and most commonly at home. To help someone, she said, you only need to know to simple things.
“We need them to dial 911 to start that chain of survival, which gets the EMS out to you, and then obviously pushing hard and fast, which keeps the blood pumping throughout their body – which is essentially keeping their organs alive, to allow them to be back to that same person they were before they had their event,” said Connolly.
Connolly said after calling 911, pushing “hard and fast” at a rate of about 100 times per minute on the center of the victim’s chest could prevent further damage to the body. She adds it isn’t likely that a victim of sudden cardiac arrest will give any warning signs before the event.
“Typically, someone goes into cardiac arrest for an undiagnosed problem. So, at any point, anyone could collapse for an unknown reason and not have any type of history whatsoever, with their own heart or within their family,” said Connolly.
The American Heart Association said Hands-Only CPR has been shown to be just as effective as traditional mouth-to-mouth CPR for adult or teen victims of sudden cardiac arrest. On top of that, people are much more likely to feel comfortable using only their hands.
Connolly explained that some people are afraid to come to a cardiac victim’s aid and start pushing hard on their chest, but they shouldn’t be.
“When someone needs CPR, they need CPR because they’re either not breathing or their heart’s not pumping correctly, which allows them not to be breathing appropriately or accurately. And therefore, you really can’t do a whole lot more damage to them because they’re – in a sense, they’re dead,” Connolly explained.
To learn more about Hands-Only CPR, visit handsonlycpr.com.