Hands-only CPR

Imagine someone collapses in front of you. What would you do? By knowing CPR you can double or triple their chance of survival.

If you have been trained in CPR and giving breaths (mouth-to-mouth) that’s great, but if you have never received training or don’t feel comfortable giving breaths, then Hands-Only CPR can still increase a person’s chance of survival when they suffer a cardiac arrest.

Remember – you can do no harm by giving chest compressions to someone who doesn’t need them. It is better to give CPR to someone who doesn’t need it, than not to give it to someone who does.


Here’s a quick video guide on how to perform Hands-only CPR:



The 4 Steps for Survival

Step 1: When you see a person suddenly collapse, check for a response – call their name/shake them gently on the shoulder.

Step 2: If there is no response call 999 or 112 immediately to get help on the way.

Step 3: If they are still not responding and are not breathing normally (gasping or not breathing at all), then you need to make sure the person is lying flat on their back on the ground. Kneel closely beside them and place your two hands on the centre of their chest, one on top of the other and keep your arms straight.

Step 4: Start compressions hard and fast, pushing down at least two inches (5cm) on the centre of the chest and push at a rate of 100 beats per minute. Push in time to the tune of the Bee Gees song ‘Staying Alive’ and keep going until the emergency services arrive.

If you’ve learned CPR in the past or are willing to give breaths, give 30 compressions followed by two breaths, continuing this sequence until help arrives.

Handy Tip #1

Learn how to put your mobile phone on loud speaker so you can immediately start providing Hands-Only CPR while calling for help and talking to the emergency dispatcher.

Handy Tip#2

Knowing your Eircode number and giving it to the emergency dispatcher when you call will also help the ambulance to find you quickly.

Better to do it, than not to

Always remember, it is better to give CPR to someone who doesn’t need it than not to give it to someone who does. You can do no harm, and by commencing CPR immediately the victim’s chance of survival can be doubled or even tripled.

More on CPR

Our guides on all you need to know about CPR.