Make sure you know 2 simple steps to save a life with hands-only CPR
Take two quick actions to try to help a teen or adult who collapses suddenly:
- call 911
- push hard and fast in the center of the person’s chest
That’s it. No mouth-to-mouth.
You’ve probably heard these new guidelines for hands-only CPR by now. But we wanted to remind you because thousands of people have sudden cardiac arrest each day – in parks, at home, at work.
The sad part is that most of those people die because they don’t get CPR right away from someone nearby. Chance of survival is nearly zero if no one steps in quickly.
Your fast action can help. Don’t hesitate to try.
Now lawmakers plan to require Ohio teens to learn hands-only CPR at public high schools under a bill they recently sent to the governor. Doctors from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center pushed for the proposal.
Laxmi Mehta, MD, who testified before lawmakers on behalf of the American Heart Association, says the technique can be taught in schools in as little as 30 minutes.
“Schools prepare students with essential life skills, and we believe CPR skills are among the most critical.”
The hands-only approach is meant to encourage the large percentage of people who said they felt powerless to help in an emergency using the old style of CPR, which involved mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Some said the previous instructions were too complicated to remember, and they were afraid of doing more harm than good. Others felt uncomfortable breathing into another person’s mouth.
But we can get past those hang-ups with this new approach and reduce the number of deaths.
With immediate and effective hands-only CPR from bystanders, a person’s chance of surviving sudden cardiac arrest doubles or even triples, says Dr. Mehta, a leader at the Ohio State Heart and Vascular Center.
Here’s a memory technique for you: Deliver chest compressions to the beat of the song Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees to get the needed 100 beats per minute, the American Heart Association suggests.
(If you’re too young to know the song, look up a video of John Travolta’s strut to the tune in the ‘70s disco movie Saturday Night Fever. You won’t forget after that!)
And remember: Any attempt at CPR is better than no attempt.
Visualize the two-step process with our handy illustration.