As a cardiologist it greatly concerns me that every day lives are needlessly lost to cardiac arrest simply because no one at the scene knows how to do CPR. The hard statistics are that less than 1/3 of people suffering a cardiac arrest get any help from a bystander. This is a huge issue since getting CPR under these circumstances is the key to survival!
Recently, a new “Just Hands” CPR technique approach to CPR has emerged, one that’s far less intimidating for non-medical folks. Unlike traditional CPR, the "Just Hands" CPR technique doesn't require that you know the ratio compressions to mouth-to-mouth breathing. Rather the goal is to encourage people to feel they can take action to save a life if they witness someone in cardiac arrest.
Two Steps to the “Just Hands” CPR Technique:
1. Call 911 if you exerpience someone in cardiac arrest
2. Push hard and fast at the center of the chest. Don’t stop until help arrives.
My wife Jan and I were trained in the “Just Hands” CPR technique at a “Go Red” fundraiser in Ocala, Fla. this past March. In the attached photo you can see me with Stephanie Graham, RN who took me through my paces with a practice dummy.
While I initially questioned the wisdom of not giving mouth-to-mouth, she informed us that so many people stand idly by because they don’t know the traditional CPR methods and the “just hands” technique is saving lives. In fact, the just hands technique doubles—or even triples—the victim’s chances of surviving cardiac arrest.
I also want to point out that there are several people who should not receive the “Just Hands” CPR technique, including: infants and children, drowning victims, and adults whose cardiac arrest is due to respiratory arrest. In those cases the first step is to call 911; the second step is to administer traditional CPR with both compressions and mouth-to-mouth.
I also personally believe that if you feel comfortable enough to give mouth-to-mouth along with compressions to any cardiac arrest victim, it’s still the better way to go.
Now it’s your turn: Have you learned traditional CPR or the "Just Hands" CPR technique?