TUESDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Among adults whose heart had stopped beating, those who received 'hands-only' cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from a bystander were 60 percent more likely to survive than those who received no CPR or conventional CPR with mouth-to-mouth breathing.
This is good news, researchers said, because not only is 'hands-only' CPR -- in which the rescuer does rapid, uninterrupted chest compressions -- easier for the public to learn and remember, research shows bystanders are more likely to act when they don't have to do mouth-to-mouth.
"Anyone can do 'hands-only' CPR and anyone can save a life," contends lead study author Dr. Bentley J. Bobrow, medical director of the Arizona Department of Health Services' Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Trauma.
"You don't have to have a special certification or take a special course," said Bobrow, who is also an emergency physician at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix.
Researchers stressed the findings apply only to adults given CPR by the lay public. Children should still usually receive rescue breathing, Bobrow said, as well as anyone who was choking, drowning or having breathing trouble before becoming unconscious.
The study is published in the Oct. 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
In 2005, Bobrow and his colleagues launched a statewide initiative in Arizona to improve rates of cardiac arrest survival, including a performance improvement program for emergency medical services and increasing rates of bystander CPR. With the help of fire departments, the initiative included training throughout the community, in schools, online and a mass media campaign.
From 2005 through 2009, 4,415 adults experienced out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Arizona and were not treated by a medical professional. Of those, 2,900 received no CPR from witnesses, 666 (ab
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