There have been many worldwide campaigns, most notably in the United Kingdom, which discourage people from giving the kiss of life and encourage simply using the “hands only” approach of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The main reason for this is that people who don’t have any form of basic first aid training may not be giving the “kiss of life” correctly and should therefore concentrate on hard and fast compressions to the center of a victim’s chest. However, this is only really applicable if a person has suffered a cardiac arrest, whereas someone who has stopped breathing, due to being immersed underwater for example, will require breaths.
Why Are People Worried about Giving the “Kiss of Life”?
It also appears that many people are worried about giving a victim the “kiss of life” and this is due to a variety of reasons. Most commonly because people have a serious lack of knowledge of CPR and are scared about being sued by the victim should anything go wrong. With that being said, there are a variety of organizations and companies which provide full CPR and basic first aid training. Others are worried about potentially catching some form of disease, although this is only likely if the victim suffers from SARS or TB.
A recent television advert in the UK suggests that someone performing CPR should contact the emergency services straight away, ignore mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and simply press hard and fast on the victim’s chest to the beat of the Bee Gees classic hit “Stayin’ Alive”. By simply performing hands only CPR you still have the ability to save the life of someone in cardiac arrest and an untrained person should feel far more confident in performing this type of procedure.
How “Hands Only” Works
You can still save someone’s life by providing “hands only” CPR while you wait for the emergency services to arrive. There is enough oxygen in a person’s blood to keep them alive during cardiac arrest, as long the blood is continually pumped around the body. The best way to achieve this is through hard and fast compressions to the chest until the paramedics arrive. Even for those who have undergone some form of basic first aid training they may still feel a little wary of providing the “kiss of life”, as they are unable to remember how many breaths or how often they should be administering breaths.
Basic First Aid and CPR Training
Should you complete a first aid course or CPR training you will always be taught how to administer rescue breaths as well as hand compressions, as this is the correct way to perform CPR. However, the TV adverts and the message given to people around the world is not to be scared to provide hands only CPR even if you have no formal medical training. In fact, even someone who is scared witless and worried of the consequences can still save a life by giving chest compressions.
With that being said, with the availability of CPR and First Aid courses it is a sensible option to undergo training. Many businesses and offices will have specific personnel trained to provide this type of help in an emergency situation, but that still shouldn’t stop you from attending a course yourself.
- License: Creative Commons image source