Hands only CPR gradually gaining ground

 Many find the requirement of locking lips with someone else to be the most distasteful aspect of performing CPR, and there is good news for such people – it is not necessary to use mouth to mouth resuscitation in order to save someone else’s life.


A study conducted by researchers based in Arizona has shown that a higher survival rate is present for those patients who were administered hands-only CPR as compared to both those who received no CPR at all, as well as those who were administered conventional CPR (a combination of rescue breaths – what is known as mouth-to-mouth resuscitations – as well as chest compressions). In the United States alone, more than 300,000 people become victims of out-of-hospital cardiac attacks every year.

According to leading doctors, anyone who can place their hands over a victim’s chest and knows how to push hard and fast can be the cause of saving someone’s life.

This study is due to be published in an up and coming journal published by a renowned medical association, and is based on the results on an education program in the state of Arizona that studied the effects on only compression as compared to mouth to mouth as well as no resuscitation. It is based on a previous study which has shown that removing mouth to mouth CPR can make it easier to perform, and makes people more inclined to use revival techniques.

The research studies 4000 adults who have gone into a cardiac arrest and has been carried out over a five year period. Out of these, one fourth were not given CPR, one fourth were administered hands only CPR and one fourth were given traditional CPR. The remaining one fourth were excluded on the basis of several factors, mainly the fact that they did manage to receive CPR from medically qualified personnel. Including these in the studies would have distorted the results.

Out of these who received hands only CPR, the survival rate was 13.3 percent. Those who received no CPR at all had a survival rate of 5.2 percent, whereas those who received the complete treatment (including mouth to mouth resuscitation) had only a slightly better survival rate of 7.8 percent.  Interestingly, it was also observed that over the five year period, the number of people willing to provide CPR increased, as did the number of people who were willing to use the hands-only form of the technique.

 However, the final call as to whether hands-only CPR will replace the traditional form as the method of choice for patients of cardiac arrests rests in the hand of the American Heart Association, which is expected to come up with an official statement in the near future.

In the case of children however, the mouth to mouth method should still be given preference. This is because in the younger generations, respiratory emergencies typically precede the cardiac arrest, making this form of CPR highly recommended

If similar education strategies are applied on a cross-community basis, there is no reason why countless more lives cannot be saved.


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