Hands-Only CPR

American Heart Association Advocates Hands-Only CPR

In an effort to simplify CPR and encourage bystanders to provide help during an emergency, the American Heart Association (AHA) announced yesterday a new hands-only CPR technique that requires only chest compressions without the use of mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing.  According to the AHA, the hands-only technique is supported by three large studies in 2007 that found no negative outcomes related to the omission of mouth-to-mouth.

It is important to note that the AHA is only advocating hands-only CPR for untrained bystanders helping adults who suddenly collapse.  Additionally, hands-only CPR should not be used for infants, children, adults whose cardiac arrest is due to respiratory causes (such as drug overdose or near-drowning), or unwitnessed cardiac arrest.  The AHA is still advocating for persons to be trained in conventional CPR, and of course, as a care provider you must follow your state regulations regarding first aid and CPR training requirements.

Below is the official AHA press release on hands-only CPR.  You can find more information at http://www.americanheart.org/handsonlycpr/.

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