Hands-only CPR

Imagine, someone collapses in front of you? What would you do? Let us help you to be ready. By knowing CPR you can double or triple their chances of survival.

If you’ve been trained in CPR and giving breaths (mouth-to-mouth breathing) that’s great, but if you’ve 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.

Most importantly, please remember that your actions can only help and you can do no harm by giving chest compressions to someone who doesn’t need them. Whereas the consequences of not being able to do Hands-only CPR for someone you love, don’t bear thinking about.


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



The 4 Steps 4 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 2 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 2 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 you’re calling for help and talking to the dispatcher.

Handy Tip#2

Knowing your Eircode number and giving it to the dispatcher when you call will also assist the ambulance in finding 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 need it. You can do no harm and by commencing CPR immediately, the victim’s chance of survival can be doubled or even tripled if you do.

Would you like to learn how to do CPR fully? Now is your chance.


If you’d like further information on comprehensive CPR training check out our different Learning CPR courses and our affiliated organisations that provide these courses in your area.

The more people who know CPR, the more likely you (or someone you know) will survive. So please share your knowledge and encourage others to learn too.

Find a Course in Your Area.


More on CPR

Our guides on all you need to know about CPR.

Our CPR Mission

When a person has a sudden cardiac arrest their best chance of survival is someone nearby knowing how to do CPR. Join our mission to save lives.

Learn More

Cardiac First Responder Groups

The HSE National Ambulance Service is integrating groups of community first responders nationwide. Join a group or help set one up in your community.

Learn More

What is CPR?

CPR involves pressing hard and fast on the centre of the person’s chest and providing rescue breaths to help save their life. Here's what you need to know.

Learn More

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