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Hands-only CPR endorsed.

Chest compressions alone, or Hands-Only Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), can save lives and can be used to help an adult who suddenly collapses, according to a new statement from the American Heart Association Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) committee. The scientific statement was published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Hands-Only CPR is a potentially lifesaving option for use by people not trained in conventional CPR or those who are unsure of their ability to perform the mouth-to-mouth breathing it requires.

"Bystanders who witness the sudden collapse of an adult should immediately call 9-1-1 and start what we call Hands-Only CPR," said Michael Sayre, MD, chair of the statement writing committee and associate professor in the Ohio State University Department of Emergency Medicine in Columbus. "This involves providing high-quality chest compressions by pushing hard and fast in the middle of the victim's chest, without stopping until emergency medical services (EMS) responders arrive." "High-quality" chest compressions are compressions that allow for full chest recoil, at a rate of about 100 per minute, with minimal interruptions.

About 310,000 adults in the United States die each year from sudden cardiac arrest that occur outside the hospital setting or in the emergency department. Without immediate, effective CPR from a bystander, a person's chance of surviving sudden cardiac arrest decreases 7 percent to 10 percent per minute. By using Hands-Only CPR, bystanders can take action whether they are trained in conventional CPR or not.

The new recommendation, which updates the 2005 American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR and ECC, puts Hands-Only CPR on par with conventional CPR when used for an adult who has suddenly collapsed. The change is supported by published evidence from three separate large studies, none of which demonstrated a negative impact on survival when ventilations were omitted. Health care personnel should still perform conventional CPR in the course of their professional duties. The new recommendations apply only to bystanders who come to the aid of adult cardiac arrest victims outside the hospital setting.

Hands-Only CPR should not be used for infants or children, for adults whose cardiac arrest is from respiratory causes, or for an unwitnessed cardiac arrest. The public is still encouraged to obtain conventional CPR training, where they will learn the skills needed to care for a wide range of cardiovascular- and respiratory-related medical emergencies, especially for infants and children. More information can be found at

Source: American Heart Association

This edition of Health was prepared by Meghan Washington.
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Title Annotation:health; Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
Author:Washington, Meghan
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2008
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