We were part of a landmark journal article in JAMA this week that will most likely change the way CPR is done in the US and maybe worldwide.  Our ADHS EMS team partnered with the UA, municipal fire departments & hospitals across the state to accurately track bystander CPR and survival rates from cardiac arrest and look at outcomes.  The article is in the Oct. 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association concludes that when bystanders used the new chest-compression-only CPR, patients had a much better chance of living when compared to folks that were given the old fashioned CPR (the kind with chest compressions interrupted by mouth-to-mouth).

Our study found that about 5% of people that had an out of hospital cardiac arrest lived if no bystanders helped with CPR, about 8% lived  when a bystander did conventional CPR (with rescue breaths), and more than 13% lived if they got the new chest-compression-only CPR from a bystander.  More people are more willing to help by giving CPR these days too.  In 2005 only 28% of people got bystander help compared with 40% in 2009.  The rate of chest-compression-only CPR rose from 20% in 2005 to 76% in 2009!  Not only is the new CPR more effective- but more people are willing to do it because it’s not as confusing and because people don’t need to do the mouth-to-mouth part.

Our team has published previous studies showing that a lot more people live when EMTs use the chest compression only method, but this is the first major study that has found similar results for bystanders.  You can learn chest-compression-only CPR by viewing a six-minute instructional video produced by the UA Sarver Heart Center.