How effective is hands only CPR in comparison to hands plus rescue breathing.

Cardiac events that occur outside the hospital setting are responsible for the loss of many lives every year around the world. A successful resuscitation process presents significant challenges but can be achieved (Pozner, 2017). To assist more than 92 percent of arrest individuals who succumbed to a cardiac event prior to reaching a medical facility, the AHA has conventionally endorsed CPR, especially for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and this included rescue breathing. Based on recent research, the survival rate of patients who had experienced a cardiac event increase when bystanders channeled their efforts on hands-only CPR rather than a combination of CPR and mouth on mouth breathing rescue.

In the recent past, hands-only compression CPR has had its fair share of attention, particularly from the media. Based on the 2005 consensus on ECC and CPR, the Red Cross society has recognized that hands-only CPR is the best approach for lay responders. This method is the best alternative for individuals who are not willing, untrained or unable to undertake a complete CPR, or is the preferred method of resuscitation for a responder.

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Few responders are comfortable with the concept of a mouth to mouth resuscitation, particularly when the victim is a total stranger; also, most individuals have no knowledge of undertaking a mouth to mouth rescue (American Red Cross, 2017). According to the AHA, out of the 300,000 people who experience a cardiac event, only one-third receive CPR, and the impediment is the mouth to mouth aspect of the process.

Research shows that when responders undertake hands only CPR in combination with a defibrillator, about 40.7 percent of incidences that occur away from the hospital tend to survive and recover fully. This rate is one-third higher when compared to conventional methods of CPR that is applied in combination with defibrillators and stands at 32.9 percent.

Chest compression, in conjunction with rescue breathing, is the standard for those under training. However, recommendations changed in 2010 for those who have no formal training to hands-only compression (American Red Cross, 2015). Hands-only CPR is usually effective compared to conventional approaches in the initial stage of a cardiac event. This finding holds true in many other countries around the world, where there is access to automated and external defibrillators.

The success of hands-only CPR has caused individuals to seek much more training in this approach that is the case with CPR with rescue breathing. In the U.S.A, about 1.6 million persons undertake standard CPR training that is conducted by emergency dispatch and the fire department (Sasson et al., 2014). Ten years ago, hands only CPR accounted for just 34 percent of this training. With the success of Hands-only CPR, the focus has shifted, and fewer individuals are willing to be equipped with skills related to CPR with rescue breathing.

Presently, traditional CPR only applies to cardiac events experienced by children due to the origin of their arrests. Also, conventional resuscitation approaches have been employed by the paramedics in many pediatric and non-cardiac events experienced outside the hospital environment with significant success (Sasson et al., 2014). Although further research is necessary to encourage bystanders and lay responders to take part in resuscitations to save lives, current research past research studies has shown that an emphasis on hands-only CPR is superior to conventional CPR.



American Red Cross. (2017). Red Cross Position on Compression-Only CPR. Retrieved 19 May 2017, from

American Red Cross. (2015). Hands-Only CPR for Witnessed Sudden Collapse. Retrieved 19 May 2017, from…/m6440194_HandsOnlyCPRsheet.pdf

Pozner, C. (2017). Advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) in Retrieved 19 May 2017, from

Sasson, C., Haukoos, J. S., Eigel, B., Magid, D. J., & Shah, M. N. (September 01, 2014). The HANDDS Program: A Systematic Approach to Addressing Disparities in the Provision of Bystander Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. Academic Emergency Medicine, 21, 9, 1042-1049.