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Hands Only CPR

Updated on July 20, 2016
CPR training conducted by the author
CPR training conducted by the author

The Hands Only CPR

Everyone knows that Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation has been around for quite a time. The procedure have saved many lives and has been in the forefront of many first aid and lifesaving procedures.

It has become a mandatory requirement for healthcare professionals to undergo CPR training. All professional rescuers undergo CPR training and from time to time update themselves on the latest guidelines.

However, it is common knowledge that bystanders are reluctant to provide Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation considering that this involves providing mouth to mouth resuscitation. Often bystanders have this fear of acquiring diseases when providing such procedure.

Considering this situation, HANDS ONLY CPR was introduced......This is a good alternative to the standard Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation where a provider performs blowing (ventilation) and chest compression. In this case, the provider will only need to provide compression. Another term for this is Compression Only CPR.

How To Perform Hands Only CPR

Hands only CPR is performed just like any CPR. The only difference is the absence of mouth to mouth. The provider will just have to provide the chest compression. The same rate applies which is basically 100 compressions per minute. This would be around 1.5 compression in 1 second. An ideal guide would be the beat of the song Staying Alive compose by the Bee Gees. The same depth in compression is likewise given which is around 2 inches in depth. As I have said earlier, the only difference is the absence of providing rescue breaths to the victim.

Perhaps you may not be aware of CPR, a more detailed description on how to perform the standard CPR. For more information on the whole procedure, Click HERE.

The provider will just have to provide the compression until help arrives or the EMS arrives.

Who Can Perform Hands Only CPR

Definitely this technique is not recommended for Healthcare Professionals considering that they should be providing the standard CPR procedure. The following can perform the hands only CPR.

  • Those who are not trained in CPR
  • Those who are trained but are not sure of the whole CPR procedure
  • Any layperson who has witnessed an adult collapsed and goes into cardiac arrest

Please be advised that laypersons who are trained in CPR have the option to provide the standard CPR procedure or provide hands only CPR

When Not To Provide Hands Only CPR

There are certain conditions or siuations that Hands Only CPR is not advised to be performed. These are the following:

  • the victim is a child or infant
  • Unwitnessed possible cardiac arrest
  • arrest which are of non cardiac in origin

More Information

Many people are still not aware of this procedure. However, there is no problem if such procedure is applied considering that this has been accepted already. More information will be provided and several steps are being done for international instructors to include this procedure during discussions.

Be aware however that Hands Only CPR may not be very effective if the cause of the arrest is drowning, choking or any situation that is cause by respiratory arrest. Best would be is to provide the standard CPR.


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    • dayzeebee profile image


      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I remember once when in my panick I tried to do CPR on a student thinking she was no longer breating. It happened after doing an acting exercise. Apparently the experience opened up a deep emotional wound that she could not stop herself from crying and then went on to collapse. The other students told me she had a weak heart. I was glad there were other students you had training with the red cross and knew how to do things properly while the rest of us called ERUF. Whew she recovered well in the emergency room and smiled and me and apologized for the inconvenience. You can just imagine my relief. Whew! I definitely know how important it is to have basic knowledge on CPR. Thumbs up:)

    • Hammerj profile image


      9 years ago from Cebu City

      Wow great hub..This is very informative article specially i dont know how to CPR..

    • JPSO138 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Hi Jim, nowadays, it is really great to learn CPR. With respect to the plastice thing that you are talking about, these are called barrier devices. It may be a face shield or a pocket mask. I carry them all the time also. Thanks for your comment!

    • jim10 profile image


      9 years ago from ma

      I finally took a CPR class last year. It was very helpful. My wife always kept bugging me to take one. Yet I always just told her she should teach me since she is a nurse. The teacher always carries a plastic mouth protector. I'm not sure of the actual name but, it was just for placing over the victims mouth with a hole in it so you don't actually contact their mouth. My wife always carries one too. I am willing to bet you have one. The only thing is I'm sure you should be trained before using mouth to mouth. So just using your hands is best if you are not certified.


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