Is hands-only CPR better than alternating chest compressions and breathing?According to new guidelines issued by the American Heart Association regarding emergency resuscitation, the conventional ABC approach when doing CPR is proving less effective and CAB has been regarded as the new approach to go by. The new standards issued are now directing those rescuing collapsed patients to use the CAB mnemonic. In this regard the situation should be addressed in this order: Compressions, Airway and Breathing.

CPR guidelines for a layperson

More importantly however, when giving lay person CPR in out of hospital situations like in public places or home when an adult has collapsed in their presence, hands only CPR is being more recommended by the AHA. In this regard, the untrained caregivers shouldn’t give any rescue breaths to the patient at all. Rather, the rescuer/ bystander is instructed to first of call 911 before trying CPR or have someone else call 911. Once this is done, they should then start the chest compressions.

About chest compressions

Compressions in CPR to an act whereby the chest of a patient who is no longer breathing or whose heart has stopped is pumped to revive the heart beating or normalize the breathing pattern. When the heart is pushed correctly at the center, it is possible to have the heart continuing to pump blood again throughout the body. This is critical especially for people with cardiac arrest as it ensures that vital tissues like the kidneys, the heart muscle and the brain receive oxygen continually to avoid fatality. According to medical experts, the compressions need to be performed correctly at a rate of approximately 100 compressions per minute. The recommended chest depth should be about 2 inches and the compressions need to be maintained at this rate until the arrival of trained life.
Giving 100 chest compressions per minute is quite a great thing and in training, the instructors usually recommend that the pumping should be done to the rhythm of ‘Staying Alive’ song by Bee Ghees. Instructors have also recommended another song that is known as ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ also provides a pretty good pace as well. But they are also keen to note that the song could be less palatable to hum during a rescue.

Why hands-only CPR is more preferable

According to existing research findings, hands-only CPR was able to save lives of patients 22% in comparison to the tradition method of doing CPR that involves alternating chest compressions with breathing resuscitation. According to estimates, training members of public on how to do CPR using the hands-only approach could end up saving 3000 people per year in United States. For caregivers who are not willing to give mouth to mouth breathing resuscitation, hands-only CPR is always a better alternative.