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Studies: CPR Without Rescue Breathing OK

Bystanders Who Only Do Chest Compressions Save Nearly as Many, Researchers Find

CPR, With and Without Mouth-to-Mouth: Other Views continued...

Some bystanders worry about the risk of disease transmission in mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, he tells WebMD, although the risk has been shown to be low.

Based on the new studies, he says, "chest compression alone appears to be just as valuable as chest compression with rescue breathing." The new findings, he says, apply to adults with cardiac arrest.

The chest compression component, he suspects, is also easier for most people to perform than the mouth-to-mouth.

''For the consumer, this is important [news]," says Sumeet Chugh, MD, associate director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles. ''Enough data has accumulated to say that bystander CPR positively impacts survival," he tells WebMD. Now, the finding that chest compression alone seems adequate is even better news, he says.

"It is a little awkward to do rescue breathing on someone you don't know," he says.

But, he says, those who go to a CPR course should still expect to be taught the rescue breathing technique, he says, as it may be needed in other situations.

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