by Diana Simeon
If you see a teenager or adult suddenly collapse, it’s important to act fast. Helping to save a life is easier than you and your teenager may think, especially with Hands-Only CPR.
Hands-Only CPR is a simple, easy-to-remember method that anyone—including those without formal CPR training—can perform. “The best chance for survival is to start Hands-Only CPR within the first two minutes of an event,” explains Gabrielle Keyser, BSN RN EMT-P, Program Manager for the American Heart Association Training Center at the Cleveland Clinic. “It may take longer than two minutes for help to arrive, so Hands-Only CPR could double a chance of survival.”
Here’s how to perform Hands-Only CPR:
- Step 1: If you see an adult or teenager collapse, send someone to call 911 or call 911 yourself.
- Step 2: Position yourself next to the victim, so you can easily reach the center of the chest. Put the heel of one hand in the center of the chest. Put your other hand on top of the first.
- Step 3: Push hard and fast in the center of the chest until help arrives. You should push approximately 100 times per minute—or to the beat of the Bee Gees’ disco classic, “Stayin’ Alive.”
View this video to see Hands-Only CPR in action: heart.org/handsonlycpr
If you’re not sure whether a victim needs CPR, go ahead and start Hands-Only CPR. “The general rule of thumb is if they are lying in front of you, unresponsive and not breathing or not breathing normally, call 911, then find the center of the chest and push hard and fast,” says Keyser. “Don’t be afraid. Your actions can only help.”
Immediate Hands-Only CPR can double or triple the chance of survival for a cardiac arrest victim, but only 32 percent of victims receive it. What’s more, with four out of five cardiac arrests occurring at home, the life you save will likely be someone in your family.