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Eliminating Mouth-to-Mouth Boosts CPR Results: Study
Date:12/11/2012

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDayNews) -- Bystander CPR saves more lives when just chest compression is performed without mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, a new study from Japan shows.

Followed by use of easy-to-use publicly available defibrillators, chest compression alone kept more people alive with good brain function than traditional CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) with mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing, the study found.

"We would like to suggest that compression-only CPR should be the standard and conventional CPR with rescue breathing the option," said lead investigator Dr. Taku Iwami, a senior lecturer in the department of preventive services at Kyoto University School of Public Health.

When someone suffers cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating. Experts say the findings are welcome news because many people don't want to perform mouth-to-mouth breathing or are unable to perform chest compressions and rescue breathing at the same time.

For the study, published Dec. 10 in the journal Circulation, Iwami's team looked at the medical records of more than 1,300 people who suffered out-of-hospital cardiac arrests from 2005 to 2009.

In each case, the arrest was witnessed, and bystanders gave CPR and shocks from an automatic defibrillator (AED).

Almost 37 percent of the victims received only chest compressions, while the others got traditional CPR -- chest compressions and rescue breathing.

In the month after their cardiac arrest, about 46 percent of those who received chest compressions alone were still alive, compared with about 40 percent of those who got traditional CPR, the researchers found.

Moreover, of those given chest compressions alone, more than 40 percent retained good brain function, compared with around 33 percent of those given compressions and rescue breathing, they added.

One expert supported the findings.

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