Doc Talk: Hands-only CPR


There’s an ongoing initiative right now to encourage the Commonwealth to add CPR to school curriculum. While many schools in Pennsylvania are already teaching it, it’s not mandated.

But EMS paramedics are now pointing to another, easier way to do CPR called hands-only CPR. Paramedics say it’s just as effective and easy enough to learn, anyone can do it even without having taken a class.

Paramedics stress the importance of CPR, saying that just a few minutes with a heart problem could result in death.

“With the heart not pumping, there’s no blood being pumped to the brain, the kidneys, or the organs,” said Holy Spirit EMS Director Steven Poffenberger.

That’s why Holy Spirit EMS Director Steven Poffenberger encourages more people to use cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

As long as they’re doing good compressions until EMS arrives, they’ve done what they need to do.

To become CPR-certified, however, you need to take a class. But Poffenberger realizes most people don’t want to take a class, nor do they have time for one. That’s why he’s promoting hands-only CPR, which is a simpler version that requires a person to push hard and fast on the victim’s chest without having to do mouth-to-mouth breathing exercises.

“The research has said that you don’t really need to do that mouth-to-mouth, or that mouth-to-mask breathing part, for several minutes anyway because that oxygen is still in the blood.

A person trying to employ hands-only CPR should also not be afraid to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). AED’s are often available in public places in case of emergencies and include full directions on how to use them.

Poffenberger says all it takes is a few quick steps to save a life.

That’s basically the three steps. Call 911, get an AED push hard, push fast.

If you’d like to get CPR certified, it’s easy to do. Here’s a link to find training classes near you

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