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There are often reasons why people do not do CPR; fear or unwillingness to do the rescue breaths is high on the list.   Compression-only CPR still pumps blood around the body. The pressure stays constant since there are no stops to give breaths.

By pushing down on the chest, the air in the lungs is forced out and then replaced when the chest is released. This will flush some air in and out of the lungs.

As you have seen, CPR is very easy. However, it is understood that sometimes people are unwilling or unable to perform the rescue breathing aspect of the CPR cycle. This may be because of facial injury, vomit, or having no face shields to hand. This is not a problem because effective cardio resuscitation can be provided by hands-only CPR. With this, we provide compressions only at a rate of 100 -120 beats per minute pushing down 5 -6 centimetres. It is the same as the CPR you learned before, but in this case, you do not stop to provide breaths.

You may think this will not work because no breaths are being administered, but this is not true. As there is oxygen in the blood already every time you push down on the chest, you compress the heart. Trapped air in the lungs is forced out of the mouth, then when the pressure is removed from the chest and it goes back to its resting state, fresh air is sucked back into the lungs and introduced back into the bloodstream.

CPR Handover

We learned earlier that you can hand over performing CPR to another rescuer. This is advised that after just 2 minutes, the person doing the CPR controls the handover and then supports the second rescuer as they start.

It may not be easy to hand over to someone else who is not trained, but even if they have no first aid training, you can quickly tell them what to do.

Remember that you can become tired and less effective after just 2 minutes of CPR, so handing over between CPR Providers every 2 minutes is recommended.