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4 Tricks They Don't Teach in CPR Class

Do CPR Smarter, Not Harder


Updated January 23, 2014

CPR instructors don't deviate. They're not allowed. If they do, the CPR police come in the night and take away their manikins.

Enterprising rescuers -- professional or not -- have come up with tricks of the trade that CPR instructors routinely leave out of the garden variety CPR class. These are the fruits of experience.

1. Get somebody to call 911 -- and tell him why.

"You! Call 911!"

Yeah, and then what? Sending a bystander to call 911 will surely get you a call to 911, but will it get you an ambulance? That depends on how smart your bystander is. When the tow truck arrives, maybe you needed to be a bit more specific about why you wanted him to call.

2. Know how to get what you want with your cell phone.

If you call 911 on your cell phone, you may get an ambulance -- in the next town. Cell phones aren't like your Grandma's Bakelite desk phone with the rotary dial. Cell phones live in a 3D world and calling 911 can be an adventure all to itself. You need to know where you are and who you want to talk with before you even dial.

3. Hum along with the beat to keep the right time.

What better theme song for CPR than Stayin' Alive? If you're cynical like most of the grizzly old ambulance crews out there, a better selection might be Another One Bites the Dust. Either way, humming along is a great trick for keeping chest compressions right on track.

4. Skip the lips and go right for the chest.

Rescue breathing may be on its way out. From Arizona to Japan, rescuers with and without training have had great luck skipping the breathing part altogether.

I always knew breathing was overrated. There's some good science behind the change, so much so that even the CPR police have made this change. They even have a name for it: "Hands-Only CPR."

Related Video
How to Perform Hands-Only CPR

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