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Hands on CPR shows new benefits

Tuesday April 3rd, 2012

British campaigners have welcomed new research showing wide-ranging benefits from basic heart resuscitation.

The British Heart Foundation has been urging the public to learn simple "hands-only" resuscitation to save victims of cardiac arrest.

Now a US study has found the technique can even help patients who do not respond to shocks from defibrillator machines. Just one in 20 of these patients will survive.

A study of nearly 4,000 patients in the state of Washington examined the impact of new guidelines introduced in 2005. This called for first-aiders to perform an increased number of chest compressions.

This showed survival improvements of about 50 per cent in patients who did not respond to defibrillation.

After 2005, the proportion of patients surviving and able to leave hospital increased from 4.6 per cent to 6.8 per cent, according to the report in the journal Circulation.

Researcher Professor Peter Kudenchuk, of the University of Washington, Seattle, said: "Now, for the first time, we have seen a treatment that improves survival specifically in these patients. And that treatment is simply providing the more intense, quality CPR recommended in the new guidelines."

The British Heart Foundation launched a campaign earlier this year, promoting the Bee Gees song, Stayin' Alive, as a way to get the right rate of chest compressions.

Ellen Mason, of the Foundation, said: “This is welcome news from the other side of the Atlantic. It shows Hands-only CPR could save a life, regardless of what type of cardiac arrest someone has had.

"Trying to remember full CPR, including the kiss-of-life, can often be a daunting prospect for untrained bystanders. Hands-only CPR should give everybody the confidence to help someone in cardiac arrest."

Circulation April 2 2012

Tags: A&E | Heart Health | North America | UK News

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