Hands-Only CPR - No More Mouth-to-Mouth?
Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Medical Editor: William C. Shiel, Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
In April, 2008, the American Heart Association (AHA) took steps to simplify the process of helping victims of cardiac arrest by introducing "hands-only" CPR. Since only about 1/3 of people who suffer a cardiac arrest at home or at a public place actually receive help, bystanders could be afraid to initiate CPR for fear that they'll do something wrong or won't know what to do. Others may be reluctant to perform mouth-to-mouth breathing for fear of contracting an infection.
It is estimated that each year, around 310,000 Americans die of cardiac arrest that occurs at home or in a public place. The AHA proposed the new guidelines in order to allow bystanders who have not been trained in conventional CPR or who may fear making a mistake a way to offer help.
In short, the procedure for "hands-only" CPR is simple. An untrained bystander who sees an adult suddenly collapse (after verifying that the person is unresponsive and is not breathing) should do just two things: