Tuesday, April 1, 2008

New Compression-Only Guidelines for Bystander CPR

This just in:  the American Heart Association has just published new CPR guidelines for bystander CPR in the journal Circulation. The bottom line:
People who witness an adult collapse with apparent cardiac arrest should be urged to provide chest compressions without ventilations.
In my post on this topic last month, I made the following wild prediction:
If a randomized controlled trial corroborates the findings in this study, I expect to see a lot of changes in official CPR protocols.
Apparently, it wasn't so wild after all.  The AHA seems to feel it's time to update the guidelines right now, and I think they're right. Even if this new compression-only technique works no better than standard CPR, this simplified protocol may increase the likelihood that a bystander will actually administer CPR. As the authors quote:
...provision of chest compression without mouth-to-mouth ventilation is far better than not attempting resuscitation at all.

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