people learning how to give hands-only CPR

How to Give Hands-Only CPR

More than 350,000 cardiac arrests—or sudden stopping of the heart—occur outside of US hospitals each year. Knowing how to provide CPR saves lives, as immediate compressions can more than double someone’s chance of survival. Hands-only CPR is simple and easy to learn. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Call 9-1-1

Your first step is always to call for the help of medical professionals. You or someone nearby should provide the 9-1-1 operator with your location ASAP, even before attending to the individual suffering a cardiac arrest if necessary.

2. Ready your hands

Hands-only CPR doesn’t require mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Simply apply compressions to the heart with your hands. Start by placing your left palm at the center of the person’s chest. Place your right hand over your left, and tuck your right fingers between your left ones.

3. Push hard and fast

Begin compressing the center of the chest at 100 beats per minute at the very least. There are a number of songs at that tempo that can help you remember the cadence. The most common is “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees, but any song with a tempo of 100 to 120 beats per minute is fit for CPR. Check out Spotify playlists for ideas.

4. Continue compressions

Your compressions may cause the person to respond. If they begin breathing, speaking or moving normally, stop applying CPR. If there is no response, continue compressions until Emergency Medical Service arrives.


As we Go Red For Women this month, it’s vital to know the signs of heart disease in women of all ages. Your heart health is our priority, learn more about what screenings can help you stay happy and healthy. Community North also offers CPR classes for parents and grandparents, see our schedule of events here.