January 04, 2011

No more kissing – just hard and fast CPR to the Bee Gees

Untrained bystanders should give the kiss a miss during CPR and concentrate on giving just chest compressions to the beat of Stayin’ Alive.

It's not as hard as it looks

We have become the first organisation in the UK to actively promote Hands-only Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Backed by Resuscitation Council UK, we say anyone who doesn’t have CPR training should now ignore the kiss of life in favour of “hard and fast” compressions in the centre of the chest.

Our poll showed nearly half of people are put off helping because of a lack of knowledge about CPR.  A fifth of respondents worried specifically about the thought of the kiss of life or catching an infectious disease.

Hands-only CPR should give lots of people the confidence and know-how to help save someone

So a national campaign, including a new TV advert featuring Hollywood hard man Vinnie Jones, will help show how simple Hands-only CPR can be, encouraging more people to help if somebody is in cardiac arrest. We're even urging people to hum the Bee Gees classic Stayin’ Alive to get the tempo of chest compressions right.

The UK-wide survey also revealed four in ten people feared they’d be sued if they did something wrong, despite the fact there’s never been a successful case of that kind in the UK. Without CPR of some kind there is a very small chance of someone surviving cardiac arrest.

Chest compressions with rescue breaths will continue to be part of gold standard CPR and taught during formal training, including on our Heartstart courses.

Ellen Mason, our Senior Cardiac Nurse, said: “The kiss of life can often be daunting for untrained bystanders who want to help when someone has collapsed with a cardiac arrest.

“Hands-only CPR should give lots of people the confidence and know-how to help save someone in cardiac arrest, the ultimate medical emergency. It’s been shown that hard, fast and uninterrupted chest compressions are better than stopping compressions for ineffective rescue breaths.

Vinnie Jones“It’s very simple; call 999 and then push hard and fast in the centre of the chest at a tempo similar to Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees. If you’re untrained or unconfident about the kiss of life give Hands-only CPR a go instead - it could help save someone’s life.”

The TV advert, showing throughout January, will reveal a compassionate side to Vinnie Jones as he performs Hands-only CPR to Stayin’ Alive in a deserted warehouse, flanked by two dancing henchmen.

Former Chelsea footballer Jones said: “There really shouldn’t be any messing about when it comes to CPR. If you’re worried about the kiss of life just forget it and push hard and fast in the centre of the chest to Stayin’ Alive. 

“Hands-only CPR should give have-a-go heroes the confidence to step in and help when somebody is in cardiac arrest.”