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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 5:01 EDT

Hands-Only CPR Most Effective Resuscitation Method

October 6, 2010

Performing hands-only CPR is more effective than giving someone mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

In the study, researchers from the University of Arizona looked at 4,415 instances of adult cardiac arrest that happened in non-hospital settings between 2005 and 2009. They found that 113 of the 849 victims who received hands-only resuscitation survived (13%), while only 52 of the 666 victims who were given conventional CRP (8%) managed to recover.

In each case, the resuscitation was performed by bystanders, not trained medical staff, according to AFP. The findings make it clear that fear of locking-lips with a stranger, even if it means potentially saving his or her life, should not keep people from helping those suffering from heart attacks.

“Anyone who can put one hand on top of the other, lock their elbows and push hard and fast can do this. No risk, no fear of causing harm,” Dr. Ben Bobrow from the Arizona Department of Health Services, lead author of the study, told AP Medical Writer Carla K. Johnson on Tuesday. “We want to take away all the reasons bystanders do nothing when they witness another person collapse.”

The American Heart Association, who has announced plans to unveil revised CPR guidelines on October 18, confirmed in 2008 that hands-only CPR could be just as effective as standard resuscitation techniques. Dr. Michael Sayre, the head of the association’s guidelines committee, told Johnson that the findings of the Arizona university study were “compelling.”

“The real problem we have isn’t the small difference between methods of CPR,” Sayre, a former member of the University of Cincinnati’s Department of Emergency Medicine and the Columbus, Ohio site leader for Take Heart America, the Cardiac Arrest Survival Initiative, added. “The real problem we have is people doing nothing.”

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