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Wednesday 20th June 2018

Chest compression more effective in CPR

15th October 2010

New research has suggested that concentrating on chest compressions rather than mouth-to-mouth when giving emergency resuscitation can produce better results.

A study of 3,000 patients, published in The Lancet, found that chest compressions alone increased chances of survival by more than 22%.

For the study, researchers focused on the survival rates of people treated by untrained members of the public taking instructions from the emergency services over the phone.

Dr Peter Nagele, from the department of anaesthesiology, critical care and pain therapy at the Medical University of Vienna, said that if untrained bystanders avoided mouth-to-mouth breaths during CPR, they were more likely to perform uninterrupted chest compressions.

In addition to focusing on the 3,000 patients, a second strand to the research involved seven observational studies.

However, researchers found no difference between the two CPR techniques.

Dr Jas Soar, chair of the Resuscitation Council from Southmead Hospital in Bristol, said: “Any CPR is better than no CPR. If you witness a cardiac arrest, dial 999 immediately. Those trained in CPR should follow existing guidance of 30 chest compressions followed by two rescue breaths.

“Those not trained should start compressions and follow instructions until an expert arrives.”

St John Ambulance acknowledged that rescue breaths put some people off coming to people’s aid.

Medical adviser Dr Meng Aw-Yong said: “The current advice is that if you're unwilling or unable to do full CPR then chest compressions are better than nothing.”

The British Heart Foundation said of CPR was carried out it more than doubled the chances of survival.


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