Teacher’s Insights: How to Save a life through Hands-only CPR?

In the uncertainties of life, someone out there is fighting for their lives. There will be a person, regardless of age, background, and health status, will have a serious case of heart attack. And there you are, unaware of what to do to help that person. Sadly, that person will just wait for an hospital for arrive or wait for a miracle to come for him/her to stay alive. Us, Filipinos will have that moment where our loved ones or some strangers will need our help. The question is this: HOW TO RESPOND?


That’s why in this rainy season, The Medical City (TMC) Cardiovascular Institute (CVI) recently conducted a mass training activity on proper techniques in conducting Hands-Only Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). The whole-day activity entitled “Hands-Only CPR for the Lay – Free Basic Life Support Training and Certification” attracted hundreds of hospital visitors, who were all invited to spend a few minutes to learn basic techniques on Hands-Only CPR.

It’s an opportunity for people like me (who doesn’t have a medical degree) to properly save someone’s life by knowing how to do Hands-Only CPR in times of need. It’s also an avenue for people to be keen and aware to their surroundings and know how to respond to these attacks.


So how does one know if a person is having a heart attack? According to the European Society of Cardiology’s (ESC) 2017 guidelines for management of STEMI, or ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction, a very serious type of heart attack, there is a feeling of tightness, a painful squeezing or heaviness in the middle of the chest, and the pain reaches the jaw or down the left arm or both arms. There is also a feeling of faint, sickness and cold sweats or shortness of breath. If this is the case, the patient should be brought immediately to the hospital. This is what the ESC calls the “Golden Hour,” a 60-minute window that is crucial for doctors to save a life.

According to the Philippine Heart Association (PHA), when doing Hands-only CPR, the “3 Cs” must be remembered.


  1. “CHECK” the scene and responsiveness of the victim, that the area is safe and with no imminent danger. Then check if the victim is unconscious or if there is no more breathing. Just tap both shoulders then call out in a loud voice to check for consciousness.
  2.  “CALL for help.” Seek help from the nearest police station or emergency rescue team, if there is any, in the premises or use a phone to call for help. Just make sure you are familiar with the emergency numbers in the area.
  3.  “COMPRESS.” If the victim is still not moving or unconscious, apply Hands-Only CPR by kneeling beside the victim. Place both hands, fingers of the hand on top should interlock with the fingers in the other, while the palm of the other hand should be placed flat on the middle part of the chest area. Make sure that the elbows are straight. Then start to perform the compression at 100-120 compressions per minute, and the depth of the pressure should be at least 2-2.4 inches. Continue this procedure until signs of life are seen on the victim or until the rescue team arrives.

Dr. Prado said CPR is a form of cardiac massage to make the heart pump blood to the brain since the heart stops when there is cardiac arrest. CPR is just like starting a car, he said, and in this case, it is the heart that is being restarted. He said, however, that proper CPR technique should be observed to make it an effective form of first aid during heart attacks.

“It is important that people know basic CPR techniques since the first few minutes is very vital in saving a life. If you recognize that the victim is suffering from a heart attack, you can help save the person’s life by applying lay-person CPR, but it should be done correctly to ensure a higher chance of survival. This is why TMC is conducting this free training activity.”


The Medical City is located along Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City. For more information about The Medical City and its services, call (+632) 988-1000 or (+632) 988-7000, email at mail@medicalcity.com.ph, or visit www.themedicalcity.com.

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