Thursday, March 15, 2007

CPR: Bag the Breathing?

The ABC's of cardiopulmonary resusitation (CPR) might get scrambled: instead of "airway-breathing-circulation" as the cornerstone of CPR, maybe we should think "compression, compression, compression" and bag the breathing:
Ken Nagao of Surugadai Nihon University Hospital in Tokyo and colleagues compared how well more than 4,000 adults fared after receiving traditional CPR, the chest-compressions only approach, or no CPR at all until paramedics arrived.

Patients who received only chest compressions had less brain damage than those who got compressions and breaths, the team reported in Saturday's issue of the medical journal The Lancet. Not surprisingly, patients who had no CPR had the poorest outcomes.

The researchers suspect breaths may be detrimental if there is only one person performing CPR, because the mouth-to-mouth breathing takes precious time away from chest compressions that bring blood to the heart and brain.

Reference: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation by bystanders with chest compression only (SOS-KANTO): an observational study. The Lancet 2007; 369:920-926. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(07)60451-6

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