• By Deborah Balzer

Mayo Clinic Minute: Learn hands-only CPR

August 20, 2019

If you encountered someone who is not breathing and unresponsive, would you know how to give CPR? Even if you are not trained, starting compressions can be lifesaving. Jill Henderson, a Mayo Clinic nurse educator and CPR trainer, shows how easy it is to use hands-only CPR to save a life.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

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"The goal of using CPR is to move blood through the heart and lungs, and the brain," says Henderson. "You are pushing down on the breastbone, or sternum, compressing the heart between the sternum and the spine, which pushes the blood out."

If there's no response, call 911, or have someone do it for you. Then, start hands-only compressions.  Place one hand down and the other hand on top.

"Push straight down 2 inches. Then, allow the chest to return to the neutral position. Do it over and over. At a rate of about 100 to 120 compressions a minute."

 Don't stop — not even to breath for the victim.

"It's more important to give consistent compressions to move blood that is still partially oxygenated until we get advanced care on the scene," says Henderson.

Continue providing compressions until someone else who knows CPR can take over for you. 

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