Good News: CPR Just Got Easier

Everyone knows about CPR — cardiopulmonary recusitation. We see it on TV and movies all the time; someone drops to the ground unconscious, and people start to perform chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breathing to keep them alive. It looks great on TV, but in real life the survival rate is very low — mostly because very few onlookers feel confident enough to do CPR, especially the mouth breathing.

Fortunately, a slew of new studies has made it a lot easier for everyone — you no longer have to do the mouth breathing. All you have to do is the chest compressions. The studies, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and reviewed here (New Trials Support Hands-Only CPR), show that the survival rate from hands-only CPR was just as good, and sometimes better, than the traditional CPR with rescue breaths. In some cases, especially drowning victims, rescue breathing is preferable, but in general, hands-only seems to do just fine for untrained people — which means almost everyone not in medical jobs. (Official training courses still emphasize rescue breathing, especially if you have the proper bag-mask equipment). Hands-only CPR has already been encouraged by the American Heart Association since 2008, as they are convinced that this can save a lot more lives.

This is great news and hopefully will encourage all readers to feel confident that they can do this. And if ever you’re in a scary situation where someone nearby isn’t breathing or has no pulse, and everyone’s standing around waiting for paramedics, hopefully you’ll remember this post and simply jump right in and start chest compressions. Don’t even stress about the ideal rate of 100 per minute — just do something, and you may save someone’s life.


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7 thoughts on “Good News: CPR Just Got Easier”

  1. This is great news. After reading the post, I reviewed CPR and the heimlich with my husband and then realized that my healthcare provider CPR expired years ago. Do you by any chance know if it is possible to do certification training here in Beijing? I'd like to be current as an AHA (or Canadian) healthcare provider, but basic rescuer would work as well. Just wondering!

    1. I believe, but am not 100% sure, that a couple of other clinics may offer official ACLS CPR training. You can call SOS clinic or United Family clinic and ask them.

    2. Hi – just seen your post and was wondering if you found what you were looking for??
      I am interested too for the basic CPR training

  2. Very enlightening article! I would be hesitant to perform full CPR, being untrained anyway, but if there was emergency I could recall how to perform chest pressing. But I guess I should really sign up for that 1st aid course, eh?

  3. Hi! I also need to take CPR/ AED course. I need a current cerificate for an education I’m taking (in personal training). Can you help with information about where to take this course here in Beijing? Thanks a lot!

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