Do you really have to do mouth-to-mouth in CPR? Is Hands Only enough?

This is what American Heart Association states on their website:

How to Give Hands-Only CPR. 

If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, call 911 and push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of any tune that is 100 to 120 beats per minute, such as the classic disco song “Stayin’ Alive”. Immediate CPR can double or even triple a person’s chances of survival.”

I want you to notice the words that I’ve underlined.

Now, let me explain it simply for you. The Hands-Only CPR is for teen or adult who suddenly collapsed from cardiac arrest. So this doesn’t include an infant or child, it also doesn’t include victims who had a drug-overdose, drowned, electrocution or if you didn’t see them collapse.

Here’s another statement from AHA’s website:

Hands-Only CPR Can Save Lives. 

Most people who experience cardiac arrest at home, work or in a public location die because they don’t receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene. As a bystander, don’t be afraid. Your actions can only help. When calling 911, you will be asked for your location. Be specific, especially if you’re calling from a mobile phone as that is not associated with a fixed address. Answering the dispatcher’s questions will not delay the arrival of help.

So the Hands-Only CPR is for bystanders, who they now call place holders. Place holders are folks who don’t know how to perform real CPR. They will perform hands-only until someone arrives who knows real CPR.  It’s NOT for first responders who arrive later to the scene, like Paramedics, and fire department, or if you are a trained in CPR.

You need to perform CPR with breathing for infants, children, choking, drownings, electrocutions, drug overdoses, unwitnessed collapse of anyone.

You can download this poster to learn CPR and get yourself and your family familiar with the steps. It’s not hard.


Now, let’s get real, even if you know how to do CPR, you might be reluctant to perform mouth-to-mouth with a stranger. So I recommend that you bring a CPR mouth barrier, you can read my post about it here.


By | 2017-08-11T09:19:30+00:00 May 24th, 2017|School Disaster Preparedness|