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Video:How to Perform Hands-Only CPR

with Rod Brouhard

Performing CPR in an emergency situation can make a life-saving difference. Follow these steps to help someone before the ambulance arrives by doing hands-only CPR.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Perform Hands-Only CPR

Hi, I'm Rod Brouhard, your Guide to First Aid at About.com. There's no substitute for proper CPR training, but even if you haven't had the class, you can still help a victim of cardiac arrest. For victims who collapse suddenly in front of you and stop breathing, there are two steps that could possibly save a life.

Call 911 in CPR Emergencies

First, call 911 to summon emergency medical responders. If possible, use a regular landline instead of a cell phone. Rescuers have a better chance of tracing the call back to you if you use a landline telephone. Follow any instructions given by the 911 dispatcher. She might be able to walk you through giving CPR.

Assume Hands-Only CPR Position

To help the victim until rescuers arrive, you will need to push on the victim's chest. Place the heel of your hand on the victim’s breastbone - the sternum - right between the nipples. Put your other hand on top of the first and lock your fingers together.

Create a CPR Rhythm

Press hard and fast on the chest. Press down about an inch and a half to two inches or so and go all the way up again. Try not to bounce off the chest. Push about 100 times per minute - about the same rate as a musical dance beat.

Lock Your Elbows During CPR

Bending your elbows uses more energy. If you lock your elbows and use your back, you won’t get tired as quickly. Depending on where you live, rescuers may take as much as ten minutes - sometimes even longer - to arrive.

Continue pushing on the chest until the victim wakes up or rescuers tell you to stop. When rescuers arrive, they might still want you to continue until they are ready to take over.

When to Use Hands-Only CPR

Even if you're trained in CPR, you can use this method for adults who collapse in front of you. For kids, or adults who nearly drown or just don't wake up when you find them, traditional CPR is best. Remember, however, it's better to do something rather than nothing, and no matter what else you do, always call 911.

For more information, visit us on the Web at firstaid.about.com.
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