You’re in the supermarket, and a man collapses. He’s gasping. It’s CPR time. But wait, was it 20 compressions, two breaths, or 15 to every one breath? Can’t remember? Well you may not have to. Because there’s hands-only CPR—pressing the chest fast and hard, about 100 times a minute, no mouth-to-mouth. And it saves at least as many lives as traditional CPR. That’s according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. [Bentley Bobrow et al.
Five years ago the state of Arizona, with lots of senior citizens, launched a campaign to educate its people about hands-only CPR. They hoped bystanders would stop panicking about breath-to-compression ratios—and touching mouth to mouth—and possibly save more lives. It seems to have worked.