Hands-only CPR can save lives

CPR, and the ethics around performing or not performing it, has been in the news lately. You may recall a recent story [CNN] about a woman at an elderly living facility in California who had stopped breathing and eventually died after staffers declined to perform CPR.

Tracy Stell, BSN, RN, EMT, leads Education Services at Durham Regional—a team who teaches staff CPR, among other skills. Tracy shared his thoughts about the incident in California:

It is disappointing and disheartening that no one was willing to help this person. There were issues around “company policy,” but ultimately the desire to help someone in need comes from within the individual. Helping someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest can be as simple as following the basics of hands-only CPR.

Hands-only CPR focuses on three Cs.

  • Check the patient.
  • Call 911.
  • Compress the center of the chest until help arrives.

The focus is pushing hard and fast on the chest to the beat of the Bee Gee’s song “Stayin’ Alive.”

Also keep in mind that North Carolina is one of many states with a “Good Samaritan law.” These laws are designed to protect people against legal liability when performing CPR on someone who needs it.

Hands-only CPR takes only a few minutes to learn, and performing it could save the life of someone you love. To learn more about hands-only CPR, watch the video below from the American Heart Association.

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