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Forget What You Know About CPR: Eliminating The Breathing Saves Lives

by: E. Huff

(NaturalNews) New findings reported by the Resuscitation Research Group at the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center reveal that the chances of surviving cardiac arrest are improved by instigating chest compressions only rather than standard cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) which includes mouth-to-mouth breathing.

In conjunction with Arizona Department of Health Services, the research team evaluated data on survival rates among those who experience cardiac arrest. Five percent of victims survive without any form of CPR being administered to them while those who receive CPR have a slightly higher 6-percent chance of survival. Chest pumping alone, on the other hand, holds an 11-percent survival rate.

In more severe cases where bystanders witnessed the collapse and in which the heart rhythm was most likely to respond to defibrillator shock treatment once paramedics arrived, as high as 32 percent of victims survive through chest pumping alone. Those who receive no CPR hold a 17-percent chance of survival while conventional CPR victims are 19-percent likely to survive.

Trends have also changed to reflect this reality among those trained in administering CPR. Over the past four years, the number of cases where CPR-trained individuals treated an individual using chest compressions only has increased from 16 percent to 77 percent.

Current estimates suggest that a mere 20 percent of people would be willing to perform conventional CPR if needed. Just 20 years ago, 60 percent of people would have been willing to do it, representing a 40-percent drop in willingness to give a stranger CPR in order to save his or her life.

The American Heart Association has been recommending since 2000 that people exercise compression-only CPR when they witness a collapse in public. Originally designed as an alternative form of CPR for people who were uncomfortable performing mouth-to-mouth on a stranger, the compression-only form of CPR was designed to stem the tide of growing unwillingness among the population to perform CPR.

Experts must now inform the public of the findings and work to shift thought away from the idea of having to perform mouth-to-mouth. Even with recommendation from experts throughout the past decade to perform compression-only CPR, the general public has been slow to adopt the idea. Many CPR certification courses still teach mouth-to-mouth CPR.

In order to help get the word out, the Sarver Heart Center decided to send fliers back in June to all Tucson residents notifying them of the new CPR method. The fliers were included with every resident's electric bill for the month.

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