Hands-only CPR: Here's how and when to use it

According to the American Heart Association, hands-only CPR has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR when cardiac arrest happens at home, work or elsewhere in public. More simple than conventional CPR, the hands-only technique may help bystanders overcome their panic and hesitation to act.

Here's what to do if you see an adult or teenager suddenly collapse:

— Call 911

— Push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the disco song "Stayin' Alive."

— Push at a rate of 100 to 120 compression per minute, at a depth of 2 to 2.5 inches, until medics or someone with an automated external defibrillator (AED) arrives or until the person becomes responsive.

Here's when conventional CPR — compressions and mouth-to-mouth breathing — is recommended:

— When an infant or child collapses.


— When the cause of the collapse is drowning, drug overdose or breathing problems.

— When someone is found already unresponsive and not breathing normally.

To take a CPR class, call 1-877-242-4277 or go to to learn about available courses where you live.

— Source: American Heart Association

Beth Bragg

Beth Bragg wrote about sports and other topics for the ADN for more than 35 years, much of it as sports editor. She retired in October 2021. She's contributing coverage of Alaskans involved in the 2022 Winter Olympics.