NewYork-Presbyterian, Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute, The City of New York, and The New York City Health Department Team up for Annual #HandsOnlyCPR Campaign

New PSA “It’s Sexy to Save a Life” featuring the cast of Broadway’s smash hit “Chicago” highlights three easy steps: Check, Call, Compress

Jun 1, 2018

A close up of hands

Cardiac arrest is the third leading cause of death in America - on average affecting at least one adult every two minutes. There are more than 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA)[1] annually in the U.S., nearly 90 percent of them fatal, according to the American Heart Association’s newly released “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2018 Update.” First responders report that knowing how to administer CPR effectively is one the most important skills needed by pedestrians during an emergency, but only one in five Americans know how to save a life or have saved a life by administering CPR.

The Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute and NewYork-Presbyterian, along with the City of New York and the American Heart Association, are joining forces with the New York City Health Department to launch their second annual #HandsOnlyCPR campaign, as part of National CPR Awareness Week from June 1-7. The campaign aims to educate New Yorkers about how they can save a life with Hands Only CPR following three simple steps: Check, Call 911, and Compress. Corporations, New York sports teams and city organizations will help spread the word about how to save a life with Hands Only CPR by sharing a 30-second video, a new how-to poster and hosting free public CPR demonstrations across the five boroughs.

A new graphic illustrates the quick and easy three-step technique that could save a life in a matter of minutes:

  • CHECK for responsiveness and breathing;
  • CALL 9-1-1 or have someone call for you;
  • COMPRESS Start chest compressions. Kneel over victim. With straight arms and interlocked hands, push hard and fast in center of the chest, two compressions per second at least two inches deep.

"New York City is proud to do its part to share Hands Only CPR with our fellow New Yorkers,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “New Yorkers take action! The resources and know-how in this campaign can empower everyone to save a life and make our City a safer place.”

“We are proud to host a Hands Only CPR training in our East Harlem Neighborhood Health Action Center,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “Time and again the very first responders in an emergency situation are family, friends, neighbors and bystanders. Teaching community members to perform this simple, three-step, lifesaving intervention is key to increasing neighborhood resilience and preparedness. We are excited to support the “It's Sexy to Save a Life” campaign and to join our sister agencies and NewYork-Presbyterian in training more New Yorkers in this simple but effective technique.”

To further build on the effort, a #HandsOnlyCPR public service announcement “It’s Sexy to Save a Life,” starring the Tony award-winning cast of “Chicago,” will begin to run on Taxi TV on June 4. NYC Media & Company will also promote the three-step protocol in a city-wide ad campaign consisting of LinkNYC Wi-Fi, bus shelters, Times Square media and a program in New York City health clubs. Mayor Bill de Blasio will also issue a proclamation declaring June 1 as “Hands Only CPR Day” in New York City to kick off National CPR Week.

The #HandsOnlyCPR campaign, now in its second year, was created to get the word out and reinforce the efficacy of the Hands Only method that saves lives. The Hands Only method, introduced in 2008, simplifies the traditional approach that included mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and increases the chance of a bystander taking action. A multi-faceted initiative led by Dr. Holly Andersen, an attending cardiologist and director of education and outreach at the Perelman Heart Institute and a clinical associate professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Weill Cornell Medicine, #HandsOnlyCPR brings together a coalition of partners and voices to deliver the message and help save lives.

“The center of the campaign is the Hands Only technique introduced in 2008 – which is superior to the conventional protocol with mouth-to-mouth. Recent survey data revealed a lack of awareness that mouth-to-mouth is no longer required, fear of hurting the victim and a concern for legal ramifications for intervening. We want people to know it’s simple, they cannot hurt someone who will die without their help and there are Good Samaritan laws in every state to protect someone who tries to save a life. The Hands Only technique eliminates those worries – and makes it easy to jump in and help someone in an emergency. This month take just one minute to learn the three steps of Hands Only CPR, and know how to save a life,” said Dr. Andersen.

The New York chapter of the American Heart Association is joining with the #HandsOnlyCPR campaign, in addition to celebrities like Brandy Norwood of “Chicago.” Norwood, along with other notable New Yorkers and CPR advocates, will share their personal messages on social media throughout the week. Beyond social media, the campaign targets high-traffic public places with sponsored posters that provide instructions for New Yorkers to perform Hands Only CPR (including parks, restaurants, and city streets).

How to Get Involved: Follow the #HandsOnlyCPR campaign. Learn how to do Hands Only CPR in less than a minute at Spread the word, share the educational video and your own #HandsOnlyCPR video or photo on Facebook (@Hands Only CPR), Instagram (@HandsOnlyCPR, and Twitter (@Hands_Only_CPR) and tag us. Display the HandsOnly poster in the public areas of your businesses and residences (download at Most importantly, if someone is experiencing cardiac arrest, perform Hands Only CPR. Everyone can save a life. #ICanSaveALife

NOTE: CPR with compressions and breaths is still recommended for infants and young children and victims of drowning or drug overdose.


NewYork-Presbyterian is one of the nation’s most comprehensive, integrated academic healthcare delivery systems, whose organizations are dedicated to providing the highest quality, most compassionate care and service to patients in the New York metropolitan area, nationally, and throughout the globe. In collaboration with two renowned medical schools, Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, NewYork-Presbyterian is consistently recognized as a leader in medical education, groundbreaking research and innovative, patient-centered clinical care.

NewYork-Presbyterian has four major divisions:

  • NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is ranked #1 in the New York metropolitan area by U.S. News and World Report and repeatedly named to the Honor Roll of “America’s Best Hospitals.”
  • NewYork-Presbyterian Regional Hospital Network comprises hospitals and other facilities in the New York metropolitan region.
  • NewYork-Presbyterian Physician Services, which connects medical experts with patients in their communities.
  • NewYork-Presbyterian Community and Population Health, encompassing ambulatory care network sites and community healthcare initiatives, including NewYork Quality Care, the Accountable Care Organization jointly established by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia.

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About The Perelman Family Foundation

Inspired by the dedication and vision of its Chairman and CEO Ronald O. Perelman and his family, the Perelman Family Foundation is firmly committed to philanthropy, focusing on health, education and through the arts. The Perelman Family Foundation supports the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, an internationally-recognized center offering comprehensive, innovative, and world-class cardiovascular care and heart health education.

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