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

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community 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.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid