Understanding Fear of Administering CPR: Causes and Solutions
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Administering CPR

Why are People Afraid of Administering CPR?

Administering CPR to victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest in the absence of a medical professional can be the difference between surviving and dying. If you have taken CPR courses online, you should know that when CPR is done to a patient, their chance of survival can double or even triple.

What are the chances of experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest when no medical professionals are present? Every year more than 350,000 Americans experience out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, with a mortality rate of nearly 90%. The good news is, according to American Heart Association data, close to 45% of out of hospital cardiac arrest victims survived after receiving bystander CPR. Sadly, less than half of victims receive bystander CPR, due in no small part to people feeling CPR is too complicated, which is why, even if you have no medical background, you should take the time to learn CPR so you can become the bridge between the patient and the professionals.

Unfortunately, many people are still skeptical about learning CPR. This can be attributed to a few common fears. Some are hesitant to give CPR because they are concerned over a few myths that they thought were true, some because they feel unconfident, and some simply feel unprepared. To better understand the importance of CPR, let us address some of these fears.

Causing More Pain to the Victim

Fear of further hurting or indirectly causing the death of a victim may be one of the leading fears holding people back from administering life-saving aid. Properly administered CPR can break bones, and reporting on research into CPR indicates some people may be more prone to rib fracturing during CPR than others, but one American Heart Association (AHA) spokesperson put that danger in perspective, saying, “I’ve talked to survivors and I never had anyone tell me, ‘Gosh, I wish no one had done this because my chest hurts.’” For those afraid they may inadvertently kill the victim, it is important to remember that according to the AHA, victims are already clinically dead, the point of CPR is to reverse this by resuscitating the patient. There is no need to be afraid, enroll in an online CPR course, and confidently follow the steps you learned.

Getting Sued When Things Go Awry

Another fear that prevents many people from performing CPR is the possibility that the victim will turn around and file a lawsuit against them for what they have done. A review of 30 years of lawsuits conducted in 2019 by the American Heart Association found that lawsuits were more likely to be filed because of delayed care or because care was not provided. Further, in an effort to promote CPR in communities, all 50 states have created Good Samaritan laws to protect good faith, find your state’s laws here

Acquiring a Disease through CPR

It is a common misconception that diseases are easily transmitted during CPR while the person administering it comes into contact with the victim. According to the Journal of Emergency Dispatch’s FAQ section, there is no known data indicating a significant risk of communicable diseases for laypersons performing CPR. there have been no known However, you should know that there are new standards when it comes to giving CPR.


Today, professionals suggest eliminating mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, it should only be performed as the very last resort. Instead, leading health care organizations are promoting the administration of hands-only CPR, further reducing chances of catching any virus or bacteria. Our comprehensive online CPR classes cover both forms of CPR for adults, infants and children.


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