Oct 8, 2010 7:58 PM by Zach Thaxton

Study: hands-only CPR best option for medical novices

A study released this week suggests hands-only CPR when administered by medical novices is more effective at saving lives that mouth-to-mouth resucitation.

The study, published in the latest edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that hands-only compression resulted in a 13.3 percent survival rate compared to 7.8 percent when mouth-to-mouth is utilized and 5.2 percent when no CPR is administered.

"I would expect that when the new guidelines from the American Heart Association come out next year, what we will be teaching to the lay public will be just chest compressions," said Richard De Lisi, Life Support Coordinator at Memorial Health System in Colorado Springs.

Many people are hesitant to administer mouth-to-mouth resucitation because of uncertainty about exactly how to perform it safely or concerns about disease transmission.  "People are much more willing and able to perform chest compressions on a stranger than they would if they feel that they have to ventilate and put their mouth on some other stranger's mouth," De Lisi says.

The study only applies to people with no CPR training whatsoever.  Medical professionals with prior CPR training or certification should still use mouth-to-mouth.


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