The Good Samaritan Law protects individuals who assist those who are injured, ill, or in peril. As long as someone is acting voluntary and without expectation of reimbursement or compensation while performing such aid on-site, they will have legal protection. When performing CPR, every second counts, so unless unique circumstances apply, don’t hesitate to call 911 and perform CPR immediately.
Before attempting CPR on someone in need of assistance
There are several things you must do. Make sure you and the patient aren’t in any danger. If possible, resolve the risk or move the patient out of harm’s way. If unable to do so for whatever reason, immediately call 911.
Check the patient to determine if they are conscious or not. Do not check for a pulse because time is of the essence and finding a pulse can take too long. Call out to the patient asking, “Are you okay?” Repeat if necessary. If the patient doesn’t respond, immediately call 911 and then perform CPR—initiating Circulation, Airway and Breathing tasks (the C-A-B’s). Also, if possible, have someone nearby call 911 and begin CPR, immediately.
It’s important to note: American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines recommend in-confident performers should, at least, perform chest compressions upon the patient. Studies show chest compressions can be as effective as the combination of CPR.