Hands Only CPR

Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 8:13am

New studies find rescue breathing isn't crucial when performing CPR.

If someone collapsed from a heart attack right next to you, would you know what to do?

Two new studies suggest simplifying CPR instructions may be beneficial for you and the patient.

In many cases bystanders aren't comfortable doing CPR.

How many times do you push on the chest? When do you breathe?

"The fact that it is so complicated and hard to remember, for most people is a problem," notes Dr. Michael Sayre.

The two new studies published in the New England Journal Of Medicine may help clarify matters.

Both suggest the best CPR method is a "hands-only" approach using chest compressions only, no rescue breathing.

"Push hard and fast in the center of the victim's chest, and that's all you have to do," Dr. Sayre explains. "You don't have to remember how many times, you don't have to think about the breathing piece."

Still most CPR training programs include rescue breathing, a technique experts say is helpful in limited circumstances like drowning victims and children.

Researchers say in any emergency chest compressions are better than nothing.

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