Frequently Asked Questions

What is compression-only CPR?

Compression-only or hands-only CPR has only two steps to remember:
Calling 911 and pushing on the center of the chest 100 times per minute, hard and fast to the beat of the classic disco song “Stayin’ Alive.”  Conventional CPR required checking for a pulse, opening the airway and initiating rescue breathing. These components are no longer needed and are not part of compression-only CPR.

Why should I learn compression only CPR?

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a leading cause of death. Over 300,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States. Performing compression-only or hands-only CPR can greatly increase a victim’s chance of survival. In the past when someone collapsed, conventional CPR was performed less than 30%. Now with the new, hand-only CPR, bystanders are attempting CPR 70% of the time!

Will the victim be harmed by not breathing for them?

Research has shown that compression-only CPR is as effective as conventional CPR with rescue breathing and often more successful because bystanders are more willing to engage in hands-only CPR. With conventional CPR, breathing is often done improperly, wastes time, and does not add to survival. Removing the rescue breaths encourages people to attempt CPR because it is much easier to perform.

Can I hurt someone when pressing on the chest so hard?

If you do nothing, the victim will die. It is possible to fracture ribs with compression-only CPR, but those will heal.

What is my liability if I perform CPR?

The Good Samaritan law protects you from any liability if you perform CPR. In New Mexico, the law also protects the layperson who utilizes the automated external defibrillator (AED).

How long does the training take?

Project Heart Start training sessions last only about one hour and are divided into watching a 12-minute video produced by KOAT and Dr. Barry Ramo, followed by a hands-on skill session led by the facilitator.

Is this a certification course?

Project Heart Start training sessions will not provide a certification. Participants will,  however, receive a wallet card reminding them of the steps. 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.

How much does it cost?

There is no charge for public Project Heart Start trainings. However, 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.

When are the training’s offered?

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 2019 PHS Day is on Saturday, June 15th! Mark your calendar. For more information, visit

In addition, PHS offers trainings for you business, school, or other orginzations throughout the year.  To get more information or request a training, visit