Revive CPR

Hands-Only CPR – Stayin’ Alive Part 1

Hands-Only™CPR, aka continuous chest Compressions (CCC) is simple to learn, easy to remember, and for an adult or teen that collapses and stops breathing is more effective than conventional CPR (compressions and breaths). Nothing can take the place of taking a CPR class, but this will give you an overview until you get your CPR certification through The American Heart Association (AHA).

Continuous Chest Compressions was first researched and developed by The Sarver Heart Center in Arizona in 2008, and in 2010 The AHA launched the Hands-Only™ CPR campaign.

Why is doing continuous chest  compressions  considered more effective than conventional CPR involving breaths?

For a witnessed Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in an adult or teen there is still plenty of oxygen remaining in the bloodstream so starting Compressions keeps that oxygenated blood flowing to vital organs until an AED can be used to restore a normal rhythm back to the heart,

Understandably, the biggest deterrent for people to not initiate CPR is the fear of giving mouth-to-mouth to a stranger.

So, let’s dive right in and look at the steps for


  1. Make sure the scene is safe.
  2. Tap and shout and if the person is unresponsive, then tell someone to call 911 and get an AED
  3. Look for breathing for 5-10 seconds. If the person is not breathing or only gasping, begin compressions
  • Kneel beside the adult
  • Place the Heel of One Hand in on the Center of the Chest and Place the Heel of the Other Hand on Top of the First Hand, Then Lace Your Fingers Together and Position Your Shoulders Directly Over Your Hands with Your Arms Straight.
  • Push Hard and Fast 

Administer Compressions that are at Least 2 Inches in depth and delivered at a Rate of 100-120/minute Be Sure to Let the Chest fully  recoil completely between compressions. Switch with another rescuer every 200 Compressions, or when tired.

When the AED arrives, use it immediately!

Continue until you see a person moving and/or breathing, or until EMT’s arrive.

Practice these skills with Revive CPR in San Francisco and receive your 2-year AHA CPR certification.

Learn how to give high-quality compressions and deliver breaths with an airway device in the situations listed below.


In the following situations it would be critical to give two breaths every 30 compressions with a barrier device once you have taken a CPR class and have your CPR certification.

  • Children and Infants
  • Drowning victims
  • Airway obstruction, unresponsive choking
  • Head injuries that causes someone to stop breathing
  • Acute respiratory arrest such as associated with smoke inhalation or drug overdose
  • Not witnessed Sudden Cardiac Arrest

The AHA video below on Hands-Only CPR encourages people with no training to jump-in and start compressions. This might not be the person you want saving you if you stop breathing, but they can still help save your life!

Hands-Only™ CPR is also intended for Bystanders who already hold their CPR Certification, or BLS Certification until a pocket mask arrives with the AED. 

People often ask me if Hands-only CPR is something new, as they hadn’t heard of it in previous CPR classes.

Rest assured that Continuous Chest Compressions (CCC) have been proven to be even more effective than conventional CPR (compressions and breaths) for an adult, witnessed SCA. The Sarver Heart Center at the University of Arizona has gone so far as to say that continuous chest compressions can double a person’s chance of survival. Please see our article on New advances in CPR and watch a video on CCC.

Training to do high-quality compressions requires in-person practice and simulation, Revive CPR encourages those interested to reach out and sign up for one of our CPR classes, or BLS classes in San Francisco.

We look forward to seeing you for a CPR class, or for one of our BLS classes and issuing your  AHA CPR certification.

By Roy Gordon, NREMT,  AHA BLS, CPR Instructor

Revive CPR Training San Francisco

Learn more about our American Heart Association CPR certification in San Francisco and how to save-a-life performing high-quality CPR!

As a reward for getting your CPR certification with Revive CPR we include a rescue Breathing key-chain in all of the CPR classes that we offer (a $10 value).

Hands-Only CPR is a Trademark of The American Heart Association

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