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Hands-Only CPR – Stayin’ Alive

(Updated October 2023)

Continuous Chest Compressions (CCC) aka Hands-Only™CPR, is simple to learn, easy to remember, and for an adult or teen that suddenly collapses and stops breathing the outcome is about the same in the first few minutes of a witnessed sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) Vs. conventional CPR (compressions and breaths.) Although Nothing can take the place of taking a CPR class this gives an overview until a person can get their CPR certification through The American Heart Association.

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 as effective, or possibly even 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-uninterrupted to vital organs until an AED can be used to restore a normal rhythm back to the heart. Every interruption in compressions to give breaths is causing more harm than good in the first few minutes of SCA.

Knowing this science and understanding that the biggest deterrent for people to not initiate CPR is the fear of giving mouth-to-mouth to a stranger the Hands-only CPR campaign is helping to save a lot more lives until EMT’s arrive.

The Hands-Only™CPR campaign urges people with no training to start saving lives. Enjoy these videos:

Stayin’ Alive
  1. call 911 and get an AED
  2. Push Hard and Fast in the center of the chest.

Administer Compressions that are at Least 2 Inches in depth and delivered at a Rate of 100-120/minute  to the Bee Gees song Stayin Alive. Be Sure to Let the Chest fully recoil between compressions. Switch with another rescuer every 150- 200 Compressions, or when tired.

When the AED arrives use it immediately!

Remember: this technique is only for an adult or teen who suddenly collapses, and is not breathing, or gasping. There are many situations (listed below) that still would necessitate giving rescue breaths.

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.

Important: mouth-to-mouth breathing is intended for friends and family, and for children and infants.

In the following situations it would be important to give two rescue breaths every 30 compressions with a barrier device (for strangers) 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 above 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.

RQI (Resuscitation Quality Improvement) created by The American Heart Association is insured in San Francisco with Professional AHA Instructors at Revive CPR, not already outdated computers connected to CPR manikins, named Voice Assisted Manikins (VAM) .

Roy Gordon, EMT/ AHA CPR Instructor

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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