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Hands only for CPR


The University of Tasmania, cardiologist Dr Paul MacIntyre and the cast of ABC’s Rake have created a hilarious and informative video about performing CPR without the use of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (also known as ‘compression only resuscitation’).


The ‘Shock Verdict’ campaign emphasises the importance of identifying a cardiac arrest, calling Triple 0, starting CPR and using an automatic external defibrillator.


The video has been gaining momentum with traditional and social media; rightly so, as Australia’s statistics for surviving a cardiac arrest (outside hospital) are as low as 10%1. Approximately 24,000 Australians per year will suffer a cardiac arrest with 75% of these occurring at home1. This scenario proves how important it is to know how to perform CPR because it makes it more likely that your family member or friend could require CPR. But research conducted by The National Heart Foundation showed 10% of people surveyed said they wouldn’t perform CPR on someone they knew due to lack of knowledge about how to perform CPR2.


Further research shows bystanders, in an emergency situation, who have completed a CPR course feel empowered to take action because they feel “adequately equipped to provide CPR”4.


A quick search on the internet will result in a large amount of research and news articles stressing the importance of learning lifesaving CPR. Numerous research institutions and first aid training bodies, such as The Australian Resuscitation Council, The National Heart Foundation and St John Ambulance, agree that “any attempt at resuscitation is better than no attempt”3


Statistics show early administration of CPR, and the use of an automatic external defibrillator can nearly double the chance of survival from a cardiac arrest1.


The Australian Resuscitation Council holds the view that any attempt at resuscitation is better than no attempt. If rescuers are unwilling or unable to do rescue breathing (mouth-to-mouth) they should do chest compressions only. If chest compressions only are given, they should be continuous at a rate of approximately 100/min5 (With two exceptions — children and people who've drowned — both who get important survival benefit from the extra oxygen received with mouth-to-mouth).


Don’t let you or your family become a statistic. St John Ambulance provides CPR training courses all over Australia. Find your nearest Queensland course here







3 The Australian Resuscitation Council

4 Hansen et al. 2017, p 5, Lay BystandersPerspectives on What Facilitates Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Use of Automated External Defibrillators in Real Cardiac Arrests



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