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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid