Bystanders who witness a sudden cardiac arrest and try CPR can skip the mouth-to-mouth breathing. The American Heart Association says doing chest compressions alone, or “Hands Only” CPR, until help arrives can be just as good as performing full mouth to mouth CPR.
WHO'S IT FOR? Any adult who collapses, stops breathing and is unresponsive. Children, infants and drowning victims still need mouth-to-mouth breaths.
WHAT TO DO: First, call or have a bystander call 911. Then press hard and fast, about 100-120 times per minute, on the middle of the victim's chest. Check the victims condition for breathing every 30 compressions. Continue care until EMS arrives, an AED becomes available or you are too tired to continue.
*Conventional CPR is recommended for children and infants, however due to the asphyxial nature of most pediatric cardiac arrests, rescue breaths may not be possible. In these instances, the hands only method is preferred to no CPR.
*Agonal breathing is a sign of final stages of life. Agonal breathing is an abnormal pattern of breathing and brain stem reflex characterized by gasping, labored breathing, accompanied by strange vocalizations and/or gurgling. It is a sign that the body is not receiving the oxygen it needs. It occurs when a person is actively dying. If a victim is experiencing agonal breathing CPR must begin immediately.