TUESDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- A 60-second video showing what to do when someone's heart stops beating could help save lives, according to a new study that found those who viewed the demonstration were much more likely to take action than those who did not.
"Cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the United States," said Dr. Bentley Bobrow, lead author of the study, which was done in Arizona. "We were trying to figure out novel and effective ways to help the public understand what cardiac arrest is, and be willing and able to do CPR [cardiopulmonary-resuscitation]. Now you can watch a 60-second video at home, on the Internet, on your phone or while you're pumping gas."
The video could save thousands of lives, added Bobrow, an associate professor in the emergency medicine department at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix and director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Trauma System.
More than 300,000 cardiac arrests happen each year outside of hospitals in the United States, and fewer than 30 percent of the victims get CPR from a bystander, Bobrow said.
However, CPR given by a bystander can double or even triple the survival rates of people whose heart has stopped, according to research cited in the study. Survival rates, which vary widely from one community to another, can rage from 3 percent to 15 percent, said Dr. Michael Sayre, an associate professor of emergency medicine at Ohio State University and an American Heart Association spokesman.
"A lot of that [variation in rates] has to do with CPR," Sayre said. "People don't feel comfortable and don't know what to do. This study shows that a very short message can get people to give effective CPR."
The study, published online March 8 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, looked at the impact of videos showing what
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