The American Red Cross encourages all citizens to learn the skills necessary to save a life in cardiac arrest situations through Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). In recent weeks, discussion about “Compression-Only CPR” has surfaced in news reports and the medical community. In response, the American Red Cross explains its position on Compression-Only CPR.
Compression-Only CPR, also referred to as “Hands-Only CPR,” is comprised of forceful chest compressions (at the rate of 100 compressions per minute) administered until professional help arrives on the scene of a cardiac arrest. This method differs from full CPR, which includes cycles of chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breathing.
Based on scientific evidence, the American Red Cross supports Compression-Only CPR as an acceptable alternative for those unwilling, unable or untrained to perform full CPR.
Erin McDonald, director of preparedness and safety solutions for the American Red Cross of Northeast Indiana, explains “The Red Cross recognizes that eliminating mouth-to-mouth breathing in cardiac arrest situations may make CPR easier and less stressful to some who may be reluctant or unable to perform it. However, full CPR is still important to learn.”
The American Red Cross offers full CPR courses that provide participants with the knowledge and confidence to respond in emergency situations. In addition to learning how to recognize cardiac emergencies and perform CPR, Red Cross CPR courses teach what to do if someone is choking or having a breathing emergency, how to care for someone in shock, and more.
McDonald adds, “In any life-threatening emergency, the most important thing that a person can do is call 911 immediately. Then, perform full or Compression-Only CPR until professional help arrives.”
To learn Compression-Only CPR, the American Red Cross offers First Aid and CPR for Everyone at-home kits for $9.95. Individuals or groups interested in taking a CPR, Automatic Defibrillator (AED), first aid or other training courses should contact the American Red Cross of Northeast Indiana. To purchase at-home kits or to sign up for a class, call (260) 484-9336, ext. 240.