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Adelaide’s #1 in Nationally Accredited First Aid Courses

The Importance of Bystander CPR

bystander cpr

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Bystander CPR is known to be a critical action in many medical emergencies, including out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Immediate performance of this technique may result in double or triple chance of survival.

What is Bystander CPR

Bystander CPR is a newer way of performing lifesaving resuscitation than the traditional method – chest compressions with mouth-to-mouth rescue breaths.

New research found that the simpler method of using hands-only CPR is also an effective way to restore heart rhythm. In general, people who receive resuscitation from bystanders are more likely to survive compared to individuals who did not receive any kind of intervention.

Approximately 20,000 people in Australia experience cardiac arrest while outside of the hospital. Unfortunately, a low percentage of these cases will survive the cardiac event, making cardiac death one of the top causes of fatalities in the country.

Hands-on CPR works for those in a cardiac emergency because the person still has oxygen in their lungs. The delivery of chest compressions will buy some time until advanced medical help becomes available.

First Aid: Chain of Survival

Bystander CPR is one component of the cardiac chain of survival. It plays a significant role in increasing survival and discharge rates in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

The ‘chain of survival’ is a term used to describe a series of time-sensitive interventions that must be performed to maximise the chance of survival. These actions should be properly executed and given on time to reduce mortality.

There are five links in the chain of survival.

Studies show that the faster the response time in a cardiac arrest, the better the chance of survival. For this reason, it is critical that everyone takes part in strengthening CPR procedures to improve community health and safety.

Prompt CPR with Chest Compressions

The second link of the cardiac chain of survival dictates that CPR should commence immediately after the first symptoms occur.

Here are two simple steps to follow in performing this procedure.

Call emergency services

Check the victim’s level of responsiveness. If they are unresponsive or not breathing normally, call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance.

Keep the phone running and place it on speaker mode. In most situations, the emergency dispatcher can help you with the CPR instructions.

Perform chest compressions

Begin chest compressions by pushing down the centre of the person’s chest about 2 to 2.4 inches deep. Pump hard and fast at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute. Use the beat of the famous Bee Gee’s song ‘Staying Alive’ while doing chest compressions. 

Continue pressing down the person’s chest until help arrives.

Early performance of CPR ‘buys time’ for the victim by maintaining some of the blood flow to the heart and brain during an arrest.

With the help of CPR training, anyone can perform effective chest compressions without interruption until emergency medical responders arrive.

Remember that in a cardiac arrest, the only bad CPR is no CPR.

Learn CPR

Saving lives is all in your hands.

One major barrier to bystanders providing lifesaving intervention for cardiac arrest victims is a lack of training, especially in performing CPR.

To reduce barriers, we promote basic CPR training for bystanders. Learn how to perform resuscitation steps and save lives in cardiac arrest by enrolling in a CPR class.

For more information, visit our website or contact us at

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