Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation are risking the lives of heart attack victims

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A study published March 17, 2007 in The Lancet, one of the world's foremost medical journals, finds that the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest outside a hospital setting are almost twice as high if bystanders perform chest-compression-only resuscitation instead of traditional cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with mouth-to-mouth breathing.

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The study analyzed the outcomes of resuscitation attempts performed by laypeople at the scene after they witnessed a person collapse due to cardiac arrest.

"The report confirms that what we have learned in animal experiments applies to humans as well," says Gordon A. Ewy, MD, director of the Sarver Heart Center at The University of Arizona in Tucson where chest-compression-only resuscitation was developed. "Bystander-initiated continuous chest compressions without mouth-to-mouth breathing are the preferable approach for witnessed unexpected collapse, which is usually due to cardiac arrest."

In an invited editorial titled "Cardiac Arrest

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