The Importance of Bystander CPR

Published on April 22, 2015

Out of the approximately 350,000 people who experience sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital in the United States each year, almost 92% die before they reach the hospital. 

One of the main reasons the survival rate is so low is because the majority of patients who experience cardiac arrest outside of a clinical setting do not receive bystander CPR.  Why? Although CPR has been taught for decades, studies show bystanders are often reluctant to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on a stranger. 

So, to improve cardiac arrest survival rates, compression-only CPR is now taught to the public as an alternative to traditional CPR.

In fact, a long-term study organized by the Sarver Heart Institute at the University of Arizona found compression-only CPR is more beneficial to improving survival when begun by a bystander than traditional CPR with mouth-to-mouth.


How you can make a difference

If you see someone suddenly collapse, after assessing the person and calling 911, use an automated external defibrillator (AED), if available. If an AED is not available, treat the person using chest compressions. When performing compression-only CPR, look for the center of the person’s chest, put the heel of your hand on it, place your other hand on top and begin compressions – hard and fast.  Aim for 2 chest compressions every second or 120 compressions per minute.  Continue compressions until medical personnel arrive.


To learn more about how to perform Bystander CPR, please call 770-219-5416 or email

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