What is hands-only CPR, and does it really work?

Could doing one less step during CPR actually help save lives? 

Sixty percent of bystanders who witness cardiac arrest don't perform CPR, and it costs nearly 400,000 lives a year. Now, doctors are working to change that. 

While most are familiar with CPR, studies show a majority of people feel helpless to act in an emergency because they don't know CPR well enough or they're afraid of hurting the victim. 

"Only 40 percent of these get bystander CPR. So, people who are standing there, who witnessed the patient go down, they are not feeling comfortable to give cpr to these people," says Dr. Ruchika Husa, a heart specialist at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center. 

In part because people don't want to give mouth-to-mouth breathing. 

But - that's the old recommendation. 

Now, doctors like Husa are teaching hands-only CPR. 

"Hands-only CPR essentially means that you forget about breathing into -mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and you focus on doing chest compressions on the patient," Dr. Husa says. 

This works even on patients who are pregnant and those with heart devices. 

The trick to getting more people to learn it and do it is to change the perception of CPR.

 "The chance of their survival is essentially zero percent without CPR," says Dr. Husa. "So, people who are around them can really save their lives."

It's important to remember that hands-only CPR is meant for teenagers and adults only. Children still need help breathing.

After being shown the simpler hands-only approach, nearly 3 out of 4 people say they would be more likely to help during an emergency.

LINK: Click to read more about hands-only CPR 

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