Bystanders attempting to revive someone in cardiac arrest should skip the mouth-to-mouth ventilation component of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and focus on chest compressions, according to Japanese researchers (SOS-KANTO Study Group. Lancet. 2007;369:920-926).
The researchers examined outcomes—survival at 1 month with no mental impairment—for adults who had an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, including 439 who received cardiac-only resuscitation and 712 who received conventional CPR. Mortality was high for all patients, but those who had only chest compressions fared twice as well as those receiving conventional CPR. Among patients with apnea, about 6.2% of the cardiac-only group vs 3.1% of the conventional CPR group reached the 1-month survival mark; among those who had resuscitation initiated within 4 minutes, 10.1% of the cardiac-only group vs 5.1% of the conventional CPR group had a favorable outcome.
Stephenson J. CPR Reconsidered. JAMA. 2007;297(15):1646. doi:10.1001/jama.297.15.1646-b