Performing CPR can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim's chance of survival

August 27, 2014

Cardiac arrest – an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and disrupts the flow of blood to the brain, lungs and other organs - is a leading cause of death. Each year, over 420,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States. When a person has a cardiac arrest, survival depends on immediately getting CPR from someone nearby.

Edward Stapleton, Associate Professor and Director of Pre-hospital Education, Department of Emergency Medicine, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, is urging everyone to learn CPR and talks about the importance of mastering this life-saving technique.

On September 7, Stapleton is planning to set a record for the largest CPR training event in the United States. Stony Brook Medicine's Hands-Only CPR Training Event will be held at LaValle Stadium at Stony Brook University with the goal of training over 5,000 people in order to improve survival and make our homes, schools and workplaces a safer environment.

"Hands-Only CPR has just two easy steps— If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, first, call 9-1-1; and then push hard and fast in the center of the chest," says Stapleton.

When a person collapses suddenly and isn't breathing or has no pulse, bystanders are often reluctant to assist with CPR for fear of doing it wrong or making the situation worse. Because less than one-third of sudden victims receive pre-hospital CPR, the American Heart Association is now promoting hands-only CPR, and Stapleton couldn't agree more.

"Hands-Only CPR has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR for at home, at work or in public," says Stapleton. "Hands-only CPR can help a cardiac arrest victim survive until emergency medical services arrive."

According to the American Heart Association, 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim's chance of survival.

During Hands-Only CPR, there is no use of mouth-to-mouth breathing. You use only your two hands to push hard and fast in a rhythmic motion in the center of the victim's chest. Training is necessary to ensure proper technique.

"It's helpful to keep pushing to the beat of the disco song "Stayin' Alive," says Stapleton. "People feel more confident performing Hands-Only CPR and are more likely to remember the correct rate when trained to the beat of a familiar song."

Stapleton says learning CPR is a valuable and vital life-saving skill. Approximately 80% of cardiac arrests occur at home. "CPR performed by family and friends can increase survival from sudden cardiac arrest by two to three-fold."

Explore further: CPR app linked to LA County dispatch system

Related Stories

CPR app linked to LA County dispatch system

August 7, 2014
The Los Angeles County Fire Department has linked its dispatch system to a smartphone app that will notify CPR-trained citizens when someone nearby is having a cardiac arrest.

Study finds increase in survival following bystander CPR for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

October 1, 2013
In Denmark between 2001 and 2010 there was an increase in bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) that was associated with an increase in survival following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, according to a study in the ...

Key element of CPR missing from guidelines

July 29, 2014
Removing the head tilt/chin lift component of rescue breaths from the latest cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) guidelines could be a mistake, according to Queen's University professor Anthony Ho.

Survival increases with clinical team debriefing after in-hospital cardiac arrest

August 4, 2014
A new study found that staff members who joined structured team debriefings after emergency care for children suffering in-hospital cardiac arrests improved their CPR performance and substantially increased the rates of patients ...

Learn two-step method of CPR to save lives

June 12, 2012
"Anyone can learn CPR - and everyone should!" proclaims the American Heart Association on its website.

Dispatcher-assisted CPR increases survival among children

April 30, 2014
Children who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital are more likely to survive and have good brain function if dispatchers instruct bystanders on CPR, according to a large Japanese study published in Journal of the American ...

Recommended for you

Could aggressive blood pressure treatments lead to kidney damage?

July 18, 2017
Aggressive combination treatments for high blood pressure that are intended to protect the kidneys may actually be damaging the organs, new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine suggests.

Quantifying effectiveness of treatment for irregular heartbeat

July 17, 2017
In a small proof-of-concept study, researchers at Johns Hopkins report a complex mathematical method to measure electrical communications within the heart can successfully predict the effectiveness of catheter ablation, the ...

Concerns over side effects of statins stopping stroke survivors taking medication

July 17, 2017
Negative media coverage of the side effects associated with taking statins, and patients' own experiences of taking the drugs, are among the reasons cited by stroke survivors and their carers for stopping taking potentially ...

Study discovers anticoagulant drugs are being prescribed against safety advice

July 17, 2017
A study by researchers at the University of Birmingham has shown that GPs are prescribing anticoagulants to patients with an irregular heartbeat against official safety advice.

Protein may protect against heart attack

July 14, 2017
DDK3 could be used as a new therapy to stop the build-up of fatty material inside the arteries

Heart study finds faulty link between biomarkers and clinical outcomes

July 14, 2017
Surrogate endpoints (biomarkers), which are routinely used in clinical research to test new drugs, should not be trusted as the ultimate measure to approve new health interventions in cardiovascular medicine, according to ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.