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Red Cross Easy Hands-Only CPR Technique

10:45 PM, Apr 10, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- The American Red Cross is on a mission to train as many as 5 million people how to perform a life-saving technique called Hands-Only CPR.

The relatively new method does not include mouth-to-mouth breathing or require certification.

"You place the heel of her hand between the chest, then you cover with your other hand on top of it. Lock your arms, position your should over your hands then press down two inches," said Allison McIntyre with the Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter of the American Red Cross.

"The advantage is that you keep the blood circulating and you keep the heart pumping," she added. "In a cardiac emergency, typically the heart's not stable."

Hands-Only CPR can help just about anyone suffering from cardiac arrest, McIntyre said.

If someone's unconscious, call 911 first, then start rapid chest compressions right away.

"It's about 100 bests per minute. We like to say you want to follow the beat to the song "Staying Alive" to do that," McIntyre explained as she demonstrated the technique to 11Alive's Jennifer Leslie.

For infants, there's a slightly different method. Use two fingers and don't press down as far, just one-and-a-half inches.

Hands-only is also known as continuous CPR.

It was approved by the Red Cross three years ago, but now the push is on to make sure more people can do it.

The Red Cross still encourages full CPR training since compressions and rescue breaths work best in emergencies like choking or drowning.

Full CPR is the preferred method but Hands-Only CPR is a simple skill for those not trained in full CPR or are uncomfortable with mouth to mouth contact, McIntyre said.

Through the 'hands-only' CPR approach, the Red Cross wants to give bystanders the confidence to step in when they are needed most.

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