New Hands-Only Approach To CPR - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/1/08-Tyler

New Hands-Only Approach To CPR

You can kiss mouth-to-mouth CPR goodbye--that's an option the American Heart Association is now backing. This week, they announced it's just as effective to skip mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and just press down on the chest instead. KLTV 7's Tracy Watler talked with our local Red Cross to find out just how well this "hands-only" approach can work.

"It's two breaths, thirty compressions, two breaths, thirty compressions," explains David Andersen with the Smith County Red Cross.

That's the standard way of performing CPR---but now, it may be not the only way.  Introducing hands-only or compression-only CPR, no mouth-to-mouth, just pressing down on the chest.  

Studies show it can work just as well when trying to save a life, especially when people are hesitant to give mouth to mouth to a total stranger.

"If they know that they can give compressions only it's better than nothing, it's better than allowing a person to lay there and die whereas if they give the compressions only there is that chance they may still live," Andersen explains.

In order to learn hands-only CPR, you do not have to take a class. In fact, you can get a take-home kit from the American Red Cross. It includes an instructional DVD and a practice mat that has a chest diagram on it where you can actually practice your compressions.

East Texans we spoke to said they'd more willing to help if they knew hands-only was just as effective

"Be less hesitation but I would be okay with either/or," says Mandy Glasscock.

"Either way regardless, if it's mouth to mouth, or chest compression, it doesn't matter, if it's saving someone's life," says Brandy Priest.

"People get weird about that, coming in close contact with someone else, if it's less contact but can still save their life, I have a feeling people would jump onto that," explains Jason Glasscock.

But the Red Cross warns, hands-only CPR is a last resort and should not replace certified CPR training.

Tracy Watler, Reporting tracy@kltv.com

Powered by Frankly