The UCSF-John Muir Health Jean and Ken Hofmann Cancer Center at the Behring Pavilion is now open.  LEARN MORE >

The American Heart Association (AHA) now advises lay rescuers—those who haven’t had a CPR class—to skip mouth-to-mouth breathing altogether when performing CPR and simply focus on downward pumping of the person’s chest.

Why? Recently, more than 350 resuscitation experts from around the world—after examining evidence reviews and extensive discussion—determined that CPR done without mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing is easier for most laypeople to do and works just as well on people who are in cardiac arrest. So if an adult collapses and is unresponsive, the AHA advises you to take the following steps to help revive him or her.

  • Call 9-1-1
  • Lean directly over the victim and place the heel of one hand in the center of his or her chest, then place your other hand on top of the first
  • Push hard and fast on the center of the chest, delivering at least 100 compressions per minute
  • Continue to provide chest compressions until help arrives

FYI: The AHA still recommends training and certification in CPR and advises those who have gone through such classes to perform CPR as trained. To learn more, call (877) AHA-4CPR or visit