1-rescuer CPR vs. 2-rescuer CPR

There are two basic ways of performing CPR: alone or with another trained rescuer. Alone is also known as one-rescuer CPR or one-person CPR. Together is also known as two-rescuer CPR or two-person CPR.

Between the two versions, 2-rescuer CPR is better. Because one person is at the chest performing compressions and one person is at the head giving rescue breaths, it’s not as tiring and there’s less of a delay between compressions and breaths. Therefore, it’s more efficient and it’s more effective.

That fact might make you think that you should always do 2-rescuer CPR when there are two people available to help. But it’s not always the best choice.

If there are two rescuers available, here’s how to decide what type of CPR to perform. If both people have been trained in how to perform 2-rescuer CPR, and there is someone else available to call 911, then 2-rescuer CPR is preferable. If there isn’t a third person to make the call, then one of the two rescuers should make the call immediately, and should only begin 2-rescuer CPR afterward.

On the other hand, if only one or neither of the rescuers are trained in 2-rescuer CPR, then the rescuer or rescuers on the scene should do 1-rescuer CPR. There is too much coordination and communication necessary in 2-rescuer CPR to attempt it without advanced training. Instead of 2-rescuer CPR, each rescuer should take turns performing 1-rescuer CPR until he or she gets tired, then they should trade off with the other person to do 1-rescuer CPR, until that person gets tired. It is recommended that the two rescuers trade off about every two minutes. That’s approximately five cycles of 30 compressions and two breaths.

To learn 2-rescuer CPR, the CPR-Twin Cities class you need is called “Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers” (the equivalent of the American Red Cross class, “Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers,” and the American Heart Association class, “Basic Life Support”). There are no prerequisites for taking this class. Click here if you’d like to sign up for a class as an individual, or click here if you’d like to schedule a class for a group.

To learn 1-rescuer CPR, you have several options of classes for the general public, including “Adult CPR/AED,” “Child CPR/AED” and “Infant CPR/AED,” as well as combinations of those age groups. Click here if you’d like to sign up for a class as an individual, or click here if you’d like to schedule a class for a group.

You can save both time and money if you choose to learn 1-rescuer CPR for the general public and First Aid at the same time. Click here if you’d like to sign up for a combo class as an individual, or click here if you’d like to schedule a combo class for a group.