Chest-Only CPR found to Increase Survival Rate in Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest
By: Caroline Melhado
A statewide initiative to encourage bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) found that compression only CPR (COCPR) was significantly effective in increasing the overall survival of out of hospital cardiac arrest. The Journal of the American Medical Association published this cohort study, which lasted between 2003 and 2005 in the state of Arizona. Compression only CPR was more effective then no CPR and traditional CPR.
The study included 4,415 individuals, over 18, who suffered a cardiac arrest outside of the hospital setting. 2,900 of these individuals did not receive any form of CPR, while 666 received traditional CPR from a bystander, and 849 received COCPR. Researchers found that patients who received COCPR had a 5.5% higher change of survival than patients who received traditional CPR and an 8.1% higher chance of survival than patients who received no type of CPR. Statewide educational programs to teach COCPR led to a proportional increase of 19.6% of individuals who used COCPR. While many bystanders are unsure of the more complicated traditional CPR, researchers and educators found that more individuals are willing to try COCPR before they would try traditional CPR methods.
These results, which surprised researchers, could lead to new nationwide initiatives in implementing COCPR. Not only are people less hesitant to try this method for cultural and medical reasons, but the increase in overall survival rate from 3.7% to 9.8% is clear evidence that this procedure might be more effective even when not in widespread use.
JAMA. 2010;304(13):1447-1454. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1392