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Heart Disease Health Center

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Vigorous CPR Is Best for Cardiac Arrest

Study Shows Survival Rates Rise When More Chest Compressions Are Done

CPR Survival Rates continued...

Survival to hospital discharge occurred in 12% of patients with a CCF between 0% and 20%. Survival more than doubled to 29% when CCF increased to 61% to 81%, the researchers say. Survival rates fell slightly to 25% with CCF ratios greater than 81%.

"There was roughly a 10% increase in the chance of survival for every 10% increase in the chest compression fraction,'' Christenson says.

According to the researchers, the slight drop in survival in people with the highest CCFs was likely due to the small sample size of the study. However, the possibility of a plateau effect in CCF exists.

Christenson says in a news release that more study is needed to determine the optimum time compressions are administered and when they are most important, such as just before or after delivery of an electrical shock. "We should continue chest compressions as much as possible, only pausing to do things that are proven to be medically beneficial."

The main message to bystanders is that cardiac arrest is not necessarily a death sentence, but lives can be saved if more people learn CPR and how to deliver chest compressions.

"The chest compressions you do on a loved one are one of the most important things that can be done," Christenson says. "If you feel rusty or are not confident giving mouth-to-mouth ventilation along with chest compressions, then just do chest compressions. Even by themselves, chest compressions can make a difference."

The researchers write that sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of premature death around the world. They conclude that the public should be encouraged to learn CPR and to deliver chest compressions effectively.

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