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How do I give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) first aid?

Jill A. Grimes, MD
Family Medicine

Start those chest compressions while someone else calls 911, and keep them going till the EMS arrives. Don't shy away from performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) just because you are afraid of the mouth-to-mouth part.

A recent study found that laypeople performing simple chest compressions were actually more effective than laypeople doing traditional CPR (with compressions and breaths).


This is good news because many people shy away from performing CPR, even if they are trained, because of the whole mouth-to-mouth part. If people will simply do chest compressions and not worry about the breathing part, we will likely have more volunteers when the occasion of a sudden death arises.


There has been much chatter about this study within the medical community. Only roughly 10% of people who receive CPR survive after resuscitation (in the out-of-hospital setting). It is believed that merely a third of people who need CPR receive it. That number needs to be increased.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.