Frequently Asked Questions

What is Hands-Only CPR?

Hands-Only CPR is taught to be used by a bystander when a teen or adult experiences out-of-hospital, witnessed Sudden Cardiac Arrest to move oxygenated blood through the body to major organs until, ideally, the AED device arrives or the ambulance arrives.

Studies have shown that Hands-Only CPR is just as effective as traditional CPR in these cases for a number of reasons.

Basic Life Support (BLS) CPR teaches checking for a pulse, opening the airway, and rescue breathing. When you perform chest-compression during Hands-Only CPR, there is still some air ventilation happening. So, unless you are expertly trained, breathing will simply waste time and make chest-compression less effective by taking so many useless breaks between compression.  The introduction of Hands-Only CPR also doubled the likelihood that a bystander would perform CPR at all, since most people did not want to do the mouth-to-mouth portion.

What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a condition where the heart goes into a deadly, irregular heart beat. It is unable to pump oxygenated blood to the vital organs, so this is were you come in with compression-only CPR. You act as the heart and pump the blood to their vital organs with chest compression. “Be their heart, with hands-only CPR”

When I last took a CPR Course, I had to worry about breathing. Why are you not teaching it now?

Research has shown that hands-only CPR without rescue breathing is just as effective, because when the chest is compressed, some air is still ventilating through the body. So, unless you are expertly trained, breathing will simply waste time and make chest compression less effective. The introduction of hand only CPR doubled the likelihood that bystanders will administer CPR, since most people don’t want to do mouth-to-mouth.

Why should I learn compression only CPR?

Compression-only CPR works! Help save lives by learning.

In Seattle, survival is double or triple because more people know CPR, and AEDs ubiquitous. Another great example is Casinos, where CPR is started immediately and an AED arrives within minutes. Starting hands-only CPR immediately can triple their chance of making it to the hospital.

What if they don’t need CPR and I hurt them?

You will not harm a person as they will likely wake up as soon as you start compression on their chest if they are not unconscious. It is important that you aggressively shake the person for a few seconds, if they do not respond begin chest compression immediately.

Will I get sued?

The Good Samaritan law protects you from any liability if you perform CPR. In New Mexico, the law also protects the use of a automated external defibrillator (AED) thanks to initiation by Dr. Ramo with the NM Heart Institute Foundation. We also cover use of an AED in our program, since anyone can now use one to shock the heart into a normal rhythm.

When is your training offered?

Request a training for your family or organization anytime!

Project Heart Start Day: The New Mexico Heart Institute Foundation together with volunteer planning committees from across the state organizes an annual NM Project Heart Start Day in June. The 2020 PHS Day is on Saturday, June 20th! Save the date! Bring your favorite people to share the fun.

How much does it cost?

There is no charge for public Project Heart Start training. Donations to the New Mexico Heart Institute Foundation are appreciated to help us continue our efforts. The recommended donation amount for a requested training is $5 to $10 per person, but donations in any amount are accepted and greatly appreciated.

How long does the training take?

Since it is not a certification program, training is done within 1 hour. We encourage doing as much training as possible to build the muscle memory for compression depth of 2″ since it’s hard to measure when you are in a situation requiring you to use hands only CPR.

Is this a certification course?

Project Heart Start training is not a certification program. If you or your group needs to be CPR certified, please refer to organizations like the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross to get the training which is typically 4 hours long for CPR alone and will not be free.