Learning the Niceties of Mouth to Mouth CPR and Compression-Only CPR

Saving a person’s life is no child’s play; and anyone can become a lifesaver, but only if they have what it takes to be a rescuer. Mouth to mouth CPR and Compression-Only CPR are some important rescuing skills.

Training and learning about Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and First Aid can equip you with the skills to give someone another chance to live if they suffer sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

Sudden cardiac arrest happens when a person’s heart all-of-a-sudden experiences irregular electrical impulses causing it to stop its normal beating. Blood flow into vital body organs, and the brain stops, which is a potentially fatal situation.

It also helps to learn that Cardiac arrest could be triggered by anything; therefore, it can happen to any person regardless of their medical past.

Cardiopulmonary saves the life of a SCA victim by restoring blood flow to buy them time as an emergency medic comes to the scene.

To gain better insight on how helpful CPR can be, let’s view these stats from the American Heart Association

  • If a bystander fails to execute CPR on someone who needs it, the chances of survival fgo down by 7 percent every 60 seconds.
  • 95 percent of SCA victims succumb before reaching health facilities.
  • If CPR is given to the victim, it doubles and triples the chances of the victim surviving.
  • 88 percent SCA happen at home, meaning that the victim is likely to be someone close to you.

CPR is no metaphysics; it is straightforward and easy to learn, and anyone can be trained to perform the procedure. It is grouped into two, namely:

  • Compression-only/Hands-only CPR
  • Mouth-to-Mouth CPR

Compression-Only/ Hands-only CPR

Like the name suggests, it involves compressing the chest to apply pressure trigger blood flow that stops when a person suffers SCA.

The AHA, American Health Association recommends this procedure on teens as well as adults who collapse out of the blues.

Before, the individual was breathing okay until he/she collapsed suddenly; therefore, there must be some oxygenated blood in his/her body. It is CPR that can restore this blood flow ensuring oxygen reaches vital organs if a rescuer conducts complete chest compressions on an attacked individual.

Compression-only CPR is easy to learn and administer, therefore it remains an efficient remedy to bystanders who may have trained earlier but forgotten the steps for standard CPR (involving both compression and rescue breaths).

Another study conducted recently by AHA shows that people in the US who had not been trained for CPR in a period of 5 years would most likely administer Compression-only/hands-only CPR instead of conventional CPR on a grownup or teen that might have suddenly fallen.

There are only 2 crucial essential steps in issuing hands-only CPR which makes it an easy way to save a life.

Learn all the critical hands only CPR steps below:

  • The first crucial step if an individual falls suddenly near you is to first call for professional assistance. Grab a phone and dial 911 before you attempt administering CPR.

 Provide the pertinent information to the operator, such as the location of the incident and any other clues about the situation.

  • After calling for help, take your time to give the SCA victim chest compressions to restore blood flow to his/her body.

How Should You Do the Compressions?

Kneel next to the victim and position your hands perpendicular to the victim’s chest.

Interlock your fingers together while covering one hand with the other to maximize on the pressure.

Apply fast and high-pressure compressions at the victim’s chest at the rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute.

CPR can be tiring since it is an intensely physical activity, therefore if anyone near you knows how to conduct CPR, you can take turns on the compressions and if you are alone, do your best to perform accurate compressions until help gets there.

Using chest compression has been deemed necessary in determining the difference between life and death for a collapsed victim.

It is a serious situation that the American Heart Association has built kiosks to train CPR in some airports in the US.

This enables family members or colleagues to learn and practice this useful skill before boarding their flights thus boosting the chances of a person coming to the aid of a collapsed victim if the situation arises in a public place.

Mouth-to-Mouth CPR (With Rescue Breaths)

Mouth to Mouth resuscitation integrates compressions in the procedure besides rescue breaths.

There are simple steps involved in executing Mouth-to-Mouth CPR:

An obvious and most important step is calling 911 before you do anything else.

Follow up with the chest compressions, administering 30 compressions to the victim at a rate of 100 beats per minute.

After 30 compressions, give the victim rescue breaths. The procedure for administering rescue breaths is as follows:

Pinch the victim’s nostrils using our thumb and index finger.

Place your mouth above the patient’s mouth, maintaining a tight seal. A commercial mouth protector can be used if available.

Give two breaths to the victim as you glance if the victim’s chest is rising, an indication that he/she is breathing.

Repeat the 30 cycles of compressions alternating with two rescue breaths in the intervals until emergency medics arrives at the scene.

The AHA recommends mouth-to-mouth CPR combined with compressions for:

  • Infants below the age of 1
  • Children below puberty age.
  • Cardiac arrest/ Heart attack victims
  • Any victim that has irregular breathing and fails to pass the responsive checks.
  • Victims of drug overdose, electrocution, drowning,
  • In essence, all victims that show symptoms of irregular breathing and lack of responsiveness.

There are a lot of emergencies that might result in a situation requiring CPR to revive the affected individual. Rescue breaths might prove more critical than hands-only CPR in such scenarios.

Remember, if an individual collapses out of the blues in front of you, it is vital that you start performing CPR to the victim as you wait for professional help to come.

Research by AHA shows that performing CPR on a collapsed victim who might not require it is wiser than failing to conduct CPR on a victim who needed it.

Learning Compression-only CPR and Mouth-to-mouth CPR

There are several programs seeking to train individuals who are willing to learn this art of saving lives.

Other CPR training programs are available offline for those who can find the time to attend classes, and online for those who cannot find time to go to a physical class.

The training provides clear and easy insight into the procedures involved in CPR, including compression-only and mouth-to-mouth CPR.

If you have had previous training, you can apply for a recertification program to polish on your skills or remind yourself.

A typical CPR class entails information and physical experiments on how to perform compression-only and mouth-to-mouth rescue breaths CPR.


Getting training on CPR can determine the difference between life and death for a workmate, a loved one or a random person on the street.

Remember, CPR saves lives, therefore enroll in a program and get the opportunity to save a life when the need arises.