When seconds count, HANDS-ONLY™ CPR can help save a life. Following a cardiac event, the body becomes deprived of oxygen, putting heart and brain function in jeopardy. The HANDS-ONLY™ CPR technique aids oxygen delivery and sustains heart and brain function until first responders arrive to administer more sophisticated medical measures.
Kamala Tamirisa, MD, FACC, FHRS, ProMedica Physicians Cardiology, offers these simple steps to help if you are in a position to administer lifesaving assistance:
- Check the patient’s responsiveness. Shake the unresponsive person by the shoulders and speak loudly to them in an attempt to rouse them.
- Check their breathing and pulse. Can you see their chest rising and falling indicating that they are breathing and exchanging oxygen? Can you find a pulse in their neck? If not, the person is likely in need of CPR.
- Call 911. Operators are trained to provide coaching over the phone and can talk you through the steps for administering CPR until emergency medical technicians arrive.
- Administer chest compressions. Place hands in the center of the chest and begin compressions, hard and fast, at a rate of 100 beats per minute.
- Recheck breathing and pulse. Is the person breathing independently again or is a pulse detectable in the carotid artery? If so, stop compressions. If not, continue compressions until emergency responders arrive.
Administering chest compressions can be physically demanding, says Dr. Tamirisa. If necessary, engage other bystanders in providing assistance by calling 911 and taking turns administering CPR. HANDS-ONLY™ CPR and CPR certification is available from the American Heart Association or through the ProMedica CPR Rescue Training Center.