How to perform hands-only CPR

Ask the Expert

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – During an emergency, getting immediate CPR from someone nearby can double or even triple a person’s chance of survival, according to the American Heart Association. 

As a yoga instructor and Bon Secours physical therapist, Trudy Messer is used to telling people how to breathe.

When she was on a flight and noticed a passenger convulse and slump over in her seat, Messer sprang into action and performed CPR, saving a woman’s life. 

“The crazy thing was it was an MD88 plane which houses 150 people and not a single person moved,” she says. “It was really scary.”

American Heart Association CPR manager John Tutt says you don’t even need to use mouth to mouth breathing to save a life because hands-only CPR is just as simple and effective for teens and adults. 

“Within the last 8 to 9 years, we’ve also learned just by doing hands only CPR can be equally as important as doing compressions and breaths,” he says.

First, he says to check if a person is responsive before calling 911 and performing CPR.

“Typically they’re going to be in the floor with no movement,” he says. “You want to go up to them, tap them on the shoulder ask are you ok and get some response from them.”

To perform Hands-Only CPR, he says to find the center of the chest with both hands and push hard and fast, with at 2 inches in depth and at 100-120 compressions per minute, similar to the beat of the song “Staying Alive.”

Tutt says he’s seen people revived after 30 minutes of compressions and urges responders not to give up until EMS arrives. 

The American Heart Association recommends giving mouth to mouth breathing along with compressions for infants and children, along with victims of drowning, drug overdose or prolongued cardiac arrest.

You can sign up for a course or even order a kit online here.

To hear more from experts at Bon Secours on this topic and others, listen every Saturday morning at 10am on 106.3 WORD radio.  

To submit your health questions for our series, click here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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