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Hands-Only Resuscitation OK for Cardiac Arrest
Date:3/31/2008

enough to warrant any risk."

The hands-only advice also eliminates a potential hindrance to providing help -- fear of what might happen with mouth-to-mouth contact, Abella said. "This allows bystanders to do a simpler form of CPR that avoids mouth-to-mouth contact with a stranger," he said.

The new recommendation for hands-only CPR is an update to 2005 American Heart Association guidelines, which said bystanders should use compression-only CPR if they were unwilling or unable to provide breaths. Three studies published in 2007 showed no negative impact on survival when mouth-to-mouth ventilation was eliminated, the association statement said.

It's still best to have CPR done in the conventional way by medical personnel trained in the technique, the heart association said. The new recommendation applies only to bystanders who come to the aid of adult cardiac arrest victims outside a hospital setting.

Hands-only CPR should not be used on infants or children, or adults whose cardiac arrest is from respiratory causes such as drug overdose or near-drowning.

About 75 percent of all sudden cardiac arrests happen at home, the heart association estimates, and the new guideline applies in such cases: 911 first, hands-only CPR second.

More information

You can learn more about CPR from the American Heart Association.



SOURCES: Michael Sayre, associate professor, department of emergency medicine, Ohio State University School of Medicine, Columbus; Benjamin S. Abella, M.D., clinical research director, University of Pennsylvania Center for Resuscitation Science, Philadelphia; April 1, 2008, Circulation


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