CPR: How You Can Save a Life With Just Two Hands


When someone goes into cardiac arrest, every single second counts. In fact, sudden cardiac arrest causes more than 356,000 deaths a year in the United States alone. You never know when the next victim could be your parent, husband/wife, coworker or just a kind stranger you pass on the street. Hands-Only CPR is the best thing you can do to help save a life in this instance. Below we have some information on Hands-Only CPR, how to perform it and links to other resources and information. 

What is Hands-Only CPR?

In 2008, the American Heart Association (AHA) introduced Hands-Only CPR to help decrease the number of deaths by cardiac arrest. Nearly ⅓ of people have a cardiac arrest at home or in a public place, and bystanders can often be afraid to help. Also, many people are reluctant to perform mouth-to-mouth breathing on a stranger, especially post-COVID. Hands-Only CPR is a safe, easy and effective way to perform CPR without the use of your mouth. It’s also accessible to those who have not been trained in conventional CPR.

How to Perform Hands-Only CPR

The first step in performing Hands-Only CPR is to call 911 and to send someone to find an AED (automated external defibrillator). Then, you will place your two hands on top of eachother and on the chest of the person who just collapsed. Once you’ve done that, push as hard and fast as you can in the center of the chest, at about 100 presses per minute. Continue doing this until an AED is found or emergency personnel arrive.

When Hands-Only CPR Isn’t Enough

While Hands-Only CPR is very effective, there are cases when it is not as beneficial as conventional CPR. These include all children as well as adults who have collapsed due to near-drowning, drug overdose or carbon monoxide poisoning. In these instances mouth-to-mouth may be needed to push air into their lungs. 

Helpful Resources