Compression-only CPR most effective in treating cardiac arrest victims: study

October 7, 2010

Chest compression-only CPR may be the most effective way for bystanders to assist victims of cardiac arrest, suggests a recent study from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Researchers examined outcomes in 4,415 out-of-hospital cardiac arrest cases between January 2005 and December 2009. Among these, the rate of survival was 13.3 percent for patients who received compression-only CPR, compared with a 7.8 percent survival rate for those who received conventional CPR and 5.2 percent for those who received no bystander CPR at all.

In 2005, Arizona launched a campaign aimed at encouraging bystanders to perform compression-only CPR to cardiac arrest victims because the method is easier to learn and perform than conventional CPR. The study suggests the campaign was successful, as the number of patients who received CPR from bystanders received compression-only CPR 75.9 percent of the time in 2009, compared with 19.6 percent in 2005. The overall survival rate for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest also increased over the course of the study, to 9.8 percent from 3.7 percent.

The study was published in the Oct. 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.