Giving chest pumps alone can save more heart attack victims

Chest pumps

The best to way to resuscitate a cardiac arrest victim is to apply chest compressions, say Japanese researchers.

They noted that mouth-to-mouth is often ineffective if performed by an untrained member of the public. It also gets in the way of the crucial chest compression's need to keep the victim's heart beating.

They said chest compressions alone could save more lives - and reduce the risk of brain damage, the Daily Mail reported.

They found that CPR recipients were actually more likely to survive with good brain function if they received hands-only or compression-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) compared with traditional CPR with chest compressions and rescue breathing.

The latest findings suggest hands-only CPR is more effective than traditional CPR in emergency situations, adding that not only is hands-only CPR easier to learn, it is more comfortable to perform on a stranger.

"We would like to suggest that compression-only CPR should be the standard and conventional CPR with rescue breathing the option," the paper quoted Dr Taku Iwami, a senior lecturer in the department of preventive services at Kyoto University School of Public Health, as saying.

The study examined 1,376 patients who suffered sudden cardiac arrest between 2005 and 2009.

In each of the cases, bystanders had witnessed the cardiac arrest and provided CPR and shocks from an automatic defibrillator to the patient.

Researchers said that about 37 per cent of the patients received hands-over CPR and 63 percent received traditional CPR.

The study found that about a month after their cardiac arrest, about 46 per cent of patients who received only chest compressions were still alive, compared to about 40 per cent of those who received traditional CPR.

Researchers also found that more than 40 per cent of people who received chest compressions alone retained good brain function, compared with 33 per cent who received compressions and rescue breathing.

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