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Many people who know about CPR, think of it as “mouth to mouth”.  Many of us learned CPR in school, or for a job when we were younger. But did you learn about hands only CPR vs mouth to mouth?

For many of us, the rescue breaths seemed like an integral part of reviving someone. However, medical professionals have found that when we look at hands only CPR vs mouth to mouth, the results don’t necessarily support rescue breaths. 

While there are multiple reasons to perform CPR, one of the most common is for SCA, or Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Cardiac arrest kills hundreds of thousands of people in the US every year. It is particularly scary because it happens without warning, and kills about 90% of the people who experience it outside of a hospital setting. 

Similarities in Hands Only CPR vs Mouth to Mouth

Both types of CPR use chest compressions. Chest compressions can keep the blood circulating through the body, even when the heart is not pumping. By compressing the chest, you compress the heart. This forces blood to pump, allowing your blood cells to continue to transport oxygen to critical organs like the brain. When you perform chest compressions in either type of CPR, you want to press hard, in the middle of the chest. The rhythm should be about 100 - 120 compressions per minute.

Differences in Hands Only CPR vs Mouth to Mouth

The primary difference between hands only CPR and mouth to mouth, is that hands only CPR does not include rescue breaths. Instead, hands only CPR uses only chest compressions, performed the same way you would in the more traditional mouth to mouth version, but without pauses. 

Is Mouth to Mouth CPR Better than Hands Only?

Your first instinct may be that mouth to mouth CPR is significantly better, because it uses 2 rescue techniques instead of just one: both compressions and rescue breaths. However, research has shown something different. Recently, researchers wanted to find out the success rates of hands only CPR vs mouth to mouth. In a study including more than 30,000 people, it was found that ANY kind of CPR was associated with TWICE the survival rates. This was compared to people who did not get CPR. 

What’s Next?

Now that we know that both mouth to mouth and hands only CPR are substantially beneficial when trying to save the life of someone experiencing cardiac arrest, the next question is: how do we get more people to perform CPR? 

The way to answer this question is to understand what barriers people face when CPR is needed. Here some barriers to getting CPR performed more often and more successfully:

1. CPR can be intimidating. People, even those who’ve been trained in CPR, often hesitate when CPR is needed. They may worry about their hand placement, may be afraid of breaking the person’s ribs, or may not be confident in what timing to use. 

The ResQR is an innovative product that takes away these barriers. It shows the rescuer where to put their hands, has a metronome to guide timing, and provides feedback on the right amount of pressure to use. ResQR also disperses the pressure evenly, over a larger area. This can increase the effectiveness of the compressions, and decrease the risk of injury.

2. Modesty concerns. Research shows that women are less likely to receive prompt CPR when they're in public. ResQR includes a modesty cover, that allows the rescuer to perform chest compressions without hesitating to remove clothing when needed.

3. Remove hesitation. When people do not hesitate, CPR can start faster which is essential to keeping someone alive until first responders arrive. With ResQR, you can feel confident and calm, knowing you’re taking exactly the right steps in performing CPR. 

When you’re looking at hands only CPR vs mouth to mouth, remember that the most important aspect is EITHER of them will save lives in many cases. Since hands only CPR is easier, it’s truly a technique that almost anyone can perform. With a device like ResQR, people can more confidently and more successfully take steps to save a life. 

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