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No CPR Certification Required to Save a Life

Updated on April 11, 2018
Pamela99 profile image

After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, treatment, and lifestyle are important.

New Criteria for CPR

The new CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) is a wonderful life saving technique for sudden death and now much easier to accomplish than the using the older criteria.

I taught CPR classes for many years, and as an instructor I noticed the biggest problem for trainees was positioning the head properly so the air actually went into the lungs. Now the new guidelines eliminate the initial breaths, as there is enough oxygen in the blood to do chest compression for about 10 minutes.

If blood is not pumped using chest compressions, the person will probably have some brain damage, even if the ambulance arrives after 8 or 10 minutes and revives the individual.

CPR is useful in many different type types of sudden death emergencies, such as heart attacks, near drowning; strokes, over doses, trauma victims and so forth. You may find someone not breathing, with NO pulse and not know the reason.

There are a myriad of reasons a person might lose consciousness, so what do you do if you find someone unconscious or see someone lose consciousness and fall to the floor. You do not have to be certified to follow this procedure.

BEE GEES Staying Alive

Heart Attack Victim

CPR Steps for the Untrained Individual

  • First: Gently shake their shoulder to try to arouse them and calling their name if you know it. You do not want to be doing chest compressions on a live person that might be passed out from too much alcohol or having a very high blood sugar. Put your ear by their mouth to see if they are breathing.
  • Second: Have someone call 911 immediately. If you are alone, call yourself before proceeding.
  • Third: If they are not breathing; check for their pulse.

The strongest pulse and easiest one to find is in the carotid artery in the throat. Put one finger on the person’s Adam’s apple. Typically you use your first 2 fingers and place them on the Adam’s apple, then slide them either direction about 1” where you should find a pulse if their heart is beating.

Compression Procedure

  • Fourth: If there is no pulse, begin chest compression at 100 times per minutes. The person must be on a flat hard surface, preferable the floor.
  • Procedure: You kneel down by the patient and put one hand on top of the other keeping your arms straight. Place them on the lower third of the sternum which is right on top of their heart. Try to hold your finger tips up, and use the palm of your hands to compress firmly (about 2") but rapidly to get 100 compressions per minute, which is the most effective rate. It is the same rhythm as the beat of the BeeGee’s song “Staying Alive”. If you listened to the music you can see how that rhythm would be perfect to keep your compressions fast enough.

You use the weight of your body to help with the compression. Now, for you muscular guys, don’t go overboard as you are a bit stronger than the average person and fractured ribs are a common side effect of CPR. However, ALIVE with a couple of broken ribs is better than dead. Stop after the first couple of minutes to see if their pulse has been restored. If not, resume compression.

Patient in Amlulance


CPR Facts

If someone else is with you, taking turns is fine until the ambulance arrives. Believe me, doing CPR is hard work. I have preformed CPR several times since I worked in Critical Care in the hospital for years, and a nurse had to go to anywhere in the hospital for a patient coding. Codes could go on for a long time in the hospital as they try defibrillation and try any drug that might help.

If the person starts to regain consciousness stop CPR immediately, monitor the person closely and check their pulse as they may not remain conscious. Do not move them or let them get up, as they may have sustained a neck or back injury if they fell. Wait for the ambulance.

You can do CPR on anyone older than 8 years old. Obviously you would use less pressure with your compressions on a child. The procedure is different for younger children and babies.

Continuous Chest Compression CPR - Mayo Clinic Presentation

American Red Cross Statistics

The American Red Cross provides some statistics dated April 26, 2010. You can check their excellent website, so I will just cover a few basic statistics.

  • EMS handles about 300,000 victims of out-of-hospital annually.
  • Outside of the hospital less than 8% of these will survive.
  • Sudden cardiac death and heart attacks is not the same thing.
  • Sudden cardiac death can happen to anyone, any age, at any time and many appear perfectly healthy before the event.
  • LESS than one third of out-of-hospital people receive CPR.
  • Effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after sudden death can DOUBLE or TRIPLE a victim’s chance of survival.
  • About 5,800 children under the age of 18 years old suffer cardiac arrest annually

CPR Training Summary

I would encourage anyone to get CPR training. The way you handle a baby is completely different then a child, and you must have a CPR certificate to perform CPR on babies or children. It is not hard to learn, and children as young as 9 have been taught. The CPR class takes about a half a day. The American Red Cross CPR and the American Heart Association have classes and so do many schools and hospitals.

However, if you don’t have time or don’t want to get the CPR training you can still save a live by following the steps I’ve written. Please don’t be a spectator and just assume the ambulance will come in time or that someone else will step up to the plate.

The copyright, renewed in 2018, for this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.


Submit a Comment
  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Pro Pet First Aid, I agree it is excellent to have CPR training and first aid training also. Thanks for your comments.

  • Pro Pet First Aid profile image

    Pro Pet First Aid 

    9 years ago from Essex UK

    Good points.

    CPR and First aid training is always a good thing but it is very simple. If you are in our region the CPR rules are a bit different as we follow ERC and UK resus council guidelines.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    lisa rey, Thank you so much for your comment.

  • profile image

    lisa rey 

    9 years ago

    It was a very nice thought! Just wanna say thank you for the selective information you have distributed. Just continue composing this kind of post. I will be your patriotic reader. Gives Thanks over again

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    online CPR Guy, Thank you so much for your comments. I am glad you enjoyed the hub.

  • profile image

    Online CPR Guy 

    10 years ago


    not only is this great information it is posted in an entertaining way.

    Thanks for this!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Nancy, It is important to know how to do CPR and I appreciate your comments.

  • nancy_30 profile image


    10 years ago from Georgia

    This really was useful information. Thanks you so much for sharing this.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Peggy, Thanks so much for your comments and the tweet. This is so important I want to get the word out as much as possible.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    10 years ago from Houston, Texas

    You are on top of the latest news about how to perform CPR and it is wonderful that you are spreading the word via this hub. Voting this up, Useful and plan to tweet this hub so that more people learn about it. Congrats!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Katiem, I hope the news spreads as so many more lives can be saved. Thanks for your comments.

  • katiem2 profile image

    Katie McMurray 

    10 years ago from Westerville

    Pamela, Thank you for the great basic information on certification unnecessart to perform Adult CPR, many people just don't get involved because they don't think their allowed and now this will shed light on the truth of the matter and no doubt save lives. Thank you for the very useful and empowering knowledge!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    GPAGE, I'm glad to have brought this topic up again since the new procedure makes it so easy. Thanks for your comment.

    Janny, I agree, this is an important topic. I appreciate you sent it to Stumble. Thanks for your comment.s

  • JannyC profile image


    10 years ago

    Wow did not know they changed the CPR method. This was great. Stumbled this to get the word out more this is a great article to read.

  • GPAGE profile image


    10 years ago from California

    pamela. Thank you for the reminder. The last time I practiced CPR was before I had my children which is way too long ago. This is really important. Thanks again for this hub. G

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Prasetio, I think that CPR us very important as well. Thank you for your comment.

  • prasetio30 profile image


    10 years ago from malang-indonesia

    CPR is the most important thing so save our life in emergency situation. Again.. you describe this well. Pamela,thanks for showing me about this. I believe this hub very useful for us.


  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Audry, Thanks so much for your comments and I am glad you enjoyed the post.

  • akirchner profile image

    Audrey Kirchner 

    10 years ago from Washington

    Super informative and love all the graphics and vids. I also like that 'Stayin' Alive' beat to keep in mind - that is easy to remember!! Voted up!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    killrats, Thank you so much for your comment.

    Support Med, I'm glad you've had training because you will always remember the basics and I appreciate your comment.

    SpedialK, I'm glad you liked the hub and are planning classes. Thanks for your comment.

    Hello, I am pleased you like the hub and thank you for your comments.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    10 years ago from London, UK

    That is really something so useful and helpful. Thank you, Pamela, for writing this hub.

  • Specialk3749 profile image

    Karen Metz 

    10 years ago from Michigan

    I have taken CPR for infants, but have never done it for adults. I have always wanted to, but never got around to it. I think this would be something for me to schedule this fall for me and the kids to do together. I think they would enjoy it. Thanks for the information, I will bookmark it!

  • Support Med. profile image

    Support Med. 

    10 years ago from Michigan

    Definitely one to be bookmarked. CPR training was part of my course; I've never had to use it however, but yes it is hard work (from the practice). Valuable. Voted-up/rated.

  • killrats profile image


    10 years ago from Cape town South Africa

    We are just so lucky to have all this tecno stuff avaiabl Great hub. Thank you.

    I trust you will have a great week end

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Tom, The new home defibrillators are great also. Thanks for your comment.

  • Tom Whitworth profile image

    Tom Whitworth 

    10 years ago from Moundsville, WV


    Great information. I was just talking to my daughter about CPR the other night. We also talked about the new home defibrillators that are available.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    TPOP, I am glad you liked the hub and thanks for your comment.

    drbj, I appreciate your comments.

    Sheila, I am glad this hub was helpful to you and thank you for your comment.

  • sheila b. profile image

    sheila b. 

    10 years ago

    Though I've seen videos of this latest method, I liked reading what you wrote about it. I learn better from reading, so now I feel informed.

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 

    10 years ago from south Florida

    Thank you, Pamela, for this instructive CPR reminder that everyone should read and memorize.

  • breakfastpop profile image


    10 years ago


    Thank you for this awesome and invaluable hub. I am going to print it and study the info. I give this a huge thumbs up!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Vrajavala, Good for you. I wish all people would understand that a few minutes can make a difference between like and death. Thanks for your comment.

  • vrajavala profile image


    10 years ago from Port St. Lucie

    Just took my yearly certification


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