One way to be a good steward for heart health is to learn Hands-Only CPR as anyone can jump in and perform this type of CPR in the event of an emergency. When done correctly, Hands-Only CPR, which is also known as Compression-Only CPR, can potentially save a life.
We recently had the opportunity to ask Firefighter Ryan Sutter about his experiences with Compression-Only CPR, as well as why it’s so critical in emergency situations when time is of the essence.
“A few years ago, they came up with Compression-Only CPR. A lot of it had to do with people just being less willing to do mouth-to-mouth anymore,” Sutter explains. “Studies were done and it came out that Compression-Only CPR is actually very effective. One of the best things about it is that people are more willing to do it. So, when you have a witnessed cardiac arrest, action can be taken right away.”
“It’s something that you can do that can have a profound effect on someone's life. For example, as a firefighter, we're not getting there until someone has called 911 and we've been dispatched—and then however long it takes us to leave the firehouse and get to the scene. That’s a critical time. But if you have somebody that's aware of Compression-Only CPR and is willing to do it, that gives us hope that when we get there, we can take over and hopefully bring that person back.”
Here’s How To Perform Compression-Only CPR**:
Before Giving CPR
- Check the scene and the person. Check to make sure the scene is safe, tap the person on the shoulder to see if they're OK, and look for signs of rhythmic, normal breathing.
- Call 911 for assistance. If there's no response from the victim when asked if he or she is OK, call 911, or ask a bystander to call for help.
- Begin compressions. If the person is unresponsive, perform Hands-Only CPR.
How To Perform Hands-Only CPR
- Ensure the person is on their back on a firm, flat surface
- Kneel beside the person
- Your knees should be near the person’s body and spread about shoulder width apart
- Use correct hand placement
- Place the heel of one hand in the center of their chest, with your other hand on top
- Interlace your fingers and make sure they are up off the chest
- Use correct body position
- Position your body so that your shoulders are directly over your hands
- Lock your elbows to keep your arms straight
- Give continuous compressions
- Push hard and fast (at least 2 inches; 100 to 120 compressions per minute)
- Allow chest to return to its normal position after each compression
** Ensure that you receive proper hands-on training from the appropriate accredited individual(s) in your jurisdiction.
Source: American Red Cross
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