Aug 2023

The Lifesaving Beat: A Step-by-Step Guide to Performing Hands-Only CPR

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, more commonly known as CPR, is a critical skill that can make a lifesaving difference during a cardiac emergency. While CPR can involve chest compressions and rescue breaths, recent guidelines recommend that untrained bystanders perform Hands-Only CPR — CPR without rescue breaths. Let's walk you through it step by step.

Please note: While this guide serves as an introduction, hands-on training is the most effective way to learn and perform CPR correctly.

Step 1: Assess the Situation

Before initiating CPR, ensure the area is safe for both you and the victim. Check the person gently but firmly by shaking their shoulder and asking loudly, "Are you okay?" If there's no response and the person isn't breathing or only gasping, prepare to administer CPR.

Step 2: Call for Help

Dial your local emergency number (102 in India) or ask someone else to make the call. If an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is available, ask for it.

Step 3: Position Your Hands Correctly

With the person lying on their back, place the heel of one hand in the center of their chest. Place your other hand on top, lacing your fingers together. Keep your elbows straight, positioning your shoulders directly above your hands.

Step 4: Start Chest Compressions

Using your body weight, press down straight into the chest about 2 inches, but not more than 2.4 inches. Compressions should be fast and regular, at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute. Allow the chest to rise completely between compressions to let blood flow into the heart.

Step 5: Continue Chest Compressions

Keep performing chest compressions until professional help arrives or an AED becomes available. Do not stop compressions unless the person shows obvious signs of life, like breathing.

Step 6: Use an AED if Available

If an AED becomes available, turn it on and follow the prompts. AEDs come with instructions, and the device guides you through each step. Use the AED as soon as it arrives and continue CPR while the AED is analyzing the rhythm if you are not alone.

Remember, when it comes to CPR, your actions can only help. Hands-Only CPR, when performed immediately, can double or even triple a person's chance of survival. It's a simple technique that can make a huge difference. So let's be ready to step in, press hard and fast, and reset the beat to save a life.