Often in movies we see people continuing to perform CPR on loved ones when everyone else around them has given up hope. A new study suggests that CPR performed longer than normal can actually increase the chance of survival for cardiac arrest victims.
Published in The Lancet, one of the oldest and most respected scientific medical journals in the world, the study advocated extending CPR from 12 minutes, the average time a doctor performs CPR, to 30 minutes.
12% greater chance of survival
Researchers examined data from 435 U.S. hospitals involving over 64,000 patients and found that hospitals with longer resuscitation times had a 12% greater chance of survival. Though the commonly held belief is that the longer CPR is performed the worse chance of survival, this study puts forward a great opportunity for enhancing care by extending the time spent giving compressions. Also, patients’ neurological capabilities were not impacted by the time spent giving CPR before being resuscitated.
Though the single greatest factor affecting survival of a sudden cardiac arrest is the time it takes to defibrillate the victim, CPR should be immediately performed to increase survival chances. According to the American Heart Association, for a cardiac event in which no CPR is administered, a person’s chance of survival decreases 7-10% per minute.
Hands Only CPR
CPR, especially Hands Only CPR, is useful for any type of cardiac arrest. Since the victim was breathing just before the onset, he can survive without breathing for a few minutes. How to apply Hands Only CPR:
1) Place the person on his or her back
2) Put the bottom of the hand in the center of the chest, right on the breast bone
3) Put the other hand on top and interlace fingers
4) Start constant chest compressions
5) Perform quickly at a rate of 100 per minute
When a sudden cardiac arrest occurs, the goal is to start CPR as quickly as possible and use a defibrillator in 3-5 minutes after collapse.