Practitioner 2011; 255 (1737): 8

Bystanders to cardiac arrest advised to use chest compression resuscitation

21 Feb 2011Registered users

Uninterrupted chest compressions can improve the likelihood of a good outcome after cardiac arrest compared with standard CPR, a meta-analysis has shown. The delivery of rescue breaths during CPR is time-consuming particularly for lay bystanders and prevents the maintenance of a continuous uninterrupted coronary perfusion pressure. The notion that rescue breaths may be detrimental to the success of adult CPR is not a new one and a recent meta-analysis published in The Lancet explored the current evidence. The authors reviewed studies published over the past 25 years comparing chest compression only bystander CPR with standard CPR with ventilations for adults with prehospital cardiac arrest. 'The takehome message is that emergency medical services dispatchers should instruct bystanders to focus on chest compression only CPR in adults with prehospital cardiac arrest. However, the situation for unassisted lay bystander CPR is unclear. I was also interested to read that the American Heart Association is telling the public to remember CAB (Compressions Airway Breathing) rather than ABC.'

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