News / Health

CPR Works Without Mouth-to-Mouth

Study finds chest compressions are the real life-saver

Multimedia

Audio
Art Chimes

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, has been around in its modern form for about 50 years.

Its rhythms of chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breathing have saved countless lives.

A new study suggests that, in CPR, chest compressions - and not mouth-to-mouth - are the real life-savers
A new study suggests that, in CPR, chest compressions - and not mouth-to-mouth - are the real life-savers

Now, a new study adds important evidence to the emerging consensus that, in CPR, the chest compressions are the real life-savers.

In this new study, callers to emergency services reporting a suspected heart attack were randomly told either to do full CPR, with chest compression and blowing air into the patient's mouth — rescue breathing — or do just chest compression. These weren't medical professionals, just ordinary, untrained people. Emergency service dispatchers talked them through the procedure over the phone.

Remarkably, as measured by survival rates at discharge from hospital, it made no statistical difference whether the CPR included breathing.

"What we observed was the group that got chest compression only in CPR had a survival [rate] of twelve and a half percent to hospital discharge," says Thomas Rea of the University of Washington, led the study.

"The group that got chest compression plus rescue breathing had a survival of 11 percent. Chest compression is at least as beneficial as chest compression plus ventilation."

Evidence suggests the chest compression alone is as beneficial as chest compression plus mouth-to-mouth.
Evidence suggests the chest compression alone is as beneficial as chest compression plus mouth-to-mouth.

The results seem counter-intuitive. The chest compressions are designed to circulate blood, which carries oxygen, and the breathing supplies the oxygen. But Rea says that, even if the heart has stopped, the red blood cells are still holding a supply of oxygen.

"And so, taking the time to interrupt the chest compressions to provide the ventilation is not as important early on because of this reservoir, ready reservoir of oxygen."

Many people who might otherwise give CPR are reluctant to put their mouth on a stranger's mouth. And so Rea says his study highlights one way to increase the odds of survival for heart attack victims by encouraging CPR.

"And we need to make it simple for people to do that, the lay public. And so the core emphasis needs to be on chest compression. Every victim of cardiac arrest should receive chest compression. Chest compressions can save a life. You will not hurt the patient. You can not do it wrong. You can only help. And you can only save a life."

The CPR study by Thomas Rae and his colleagues is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs