Hands Only CPR

When an adult has a sudden cardiac arrest, his or her chances of survival greatly increase if someone nearby can immediately perform CPR. Unfortunately, fewer than 1/3 of those people who experience a cardiac arrest at home, work or in a public location get that help. To encourage more people to step in and help, the American Heart Association has simplified the CPR recommendations.

Hands-Only CPR Overview

New Hanover Regional Medical Center's Emergency Medical Services team is asking you to be a lifesaver by learning Hands-Only CPR.

Hands-Only CPR, performed by a bystander when they witness a cardiac arrest, has been shown to be as effective as "conventional" CPR in emergencies that occur at home, work or in public. There are only three steps to remember:

  • Call 911
  • Push hard and fast in the center of the chest
  • Utilize AED if available

Most bystanders are worried that they might do something wrong or make things worse, but your actions can only help. Any attempt at CPR is better than no attempt.

When an adult suddenly collapses with cardiac arrest, their lungs and blood contain enough oxygen to keep vital organs healthy for the first few minutes, as long as someone provides high quality chest compressions with minimal interruption to pump blood to the heart and brain. Click here for more information on Hands-Only CPR.

Automated External Defibrillators (AED)

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a computerized medical device that can check a person's heart rhythm. It can recognize a rhythm that requires a shock and it can advise the rescuer when a shock is needed. The AED uses voice prompts, lights and text messages to give step-by-step instructions to the rescuer.

AEDs are very accurate and easy to use. Training on the use of AEDs is available through most CPR training courses. In an emergency, the 911 operator will explain to the rescuer how to use an AED.

AEDs are located in many public buildings including schools, businesses and other places where large numbers of people gather.

New Hanover Regional Medical Center's EMS, in conjunction with the New Hanover County 911 Center, are collecting information on the locations of AEDs throughout the county. Once this database is complete, the 911 operator who gets a call about a sudden cardiac arrest emergency will be able to direct the bystander to the nearest AED.

If your place of business has an AED, please report it to NHRMC's EMS by emailing [email protected]. Please include your name, address of your building, location of the AED inside your building and your contact information.