Study: Skip Mouth-to-Mouth During CPR

Doing only chest compressions saves more lives, say researchers
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2010 5:56 PM CDT
Study: Skip Mouth-to-Mouth During CPR
A growing body of evidence suggests that chest compressions may be more effective than mouth-to-mouth.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Might the days of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation be numbered? Yet another study suggests that sticking only to chest compressions saves the lives of heart attack victims more reliably, the Wall Street Journal reports. The results, published in the Journal of American Medical Association, complement existing evidence that skipping mouth-to-mouth in favor of the compressions is the way to go. One factor: Previous studies say people avoid performing CPR altogether because of the mouth-to-mouth component.

The study looked at 4,415 Arizona adults who suffered cardiac arrest and got either standard CPR with mouth-to-mouth, only chest-compressions, or no pre-ambulance treatment at all. Survival rates were 13.3% for chest compressions, 7.8% for standard CPR, and 5.2% for neither. Researchers speculate that chest compressions are easier for the lay person to perform, not inherently more beneficial. "Anybody can do hands-only CPR by pushing hard and pushing fast in the center of a person's chest," said one proponent.
(Read more CPR stories.)

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