Hands-Only CPR: Why it’s Best and How to Do It

From an interview with
Dr. Alan Blaker, Jr.
McLeod Cardiology Associates

The new gold standard for resuscitating an unconscious person or someone with a heart attack is “Hands-Only CPR.”  McLeod Cardiologist Dr. Alan Blaker, Jr. explains why it’s better and how to perform Hands-Only CPR.

Here is a summary of Dr. Blaker’s description:
If you witness someone who’s had a cardiac arrest, the first thing to know is to call 911 for help. You have to initiate an emergency response.

The next thing to do is to see if they’re responsive and if they have a pulse. And if not, then it’s administering hands-only CPR. Hands-only CPR is a newer way to administer CPR, because studies have shown that previously when we tried to do breathing with compressions, there could be some delay in initiating the resuscitation. There may be hesitation to initiate the resuscitation because now you’re breathing in someone’s mouth that you don’t know. And so studies showed that when we tried to do the older type CPR with breathing and compressions, they didn’t have as good an outcome as when we did hands-only CPR. That’s why hands-only CPR has become the mantra for the new way to resuscitate patients in cardiac arrest by bystanders.
To initiate hands-only CPR, the person is laying flat on the ground or on a firm surface. If necessary, try to put something under the victim for a firm surface. Then begin compressions at the rate of about 100 times per minute.
It can be very strenuous, so it’s important to ask for help. It’s important to call 911 to begin with, so that help is on the way while you’re trying to maintain circulation, improving the patient’s chance of recovery.

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