Prolonging CPR doesn't help heart patients: study

Increasing the time spent administering CPR to cardiac arrest patients won't increase their chances of survival, researchers said Wednesday, putting to rest one of the raging debates in emergency medicine.

"Our study definitively shows that there is no advantage to a longer period of initial CPR," said Dr Ian Stiell, a senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI), one of the entities leading the study.

Paramedics and firefighters traditionally have provided only brief CPR while readying a defibrillator to jolt the heart into restarting.

But some experts over the years have said that a longer period of initial cardio-pulmonary resuscitation - for up to three minutes - may help increase a cardiac arrest patient's odds of survival.

The scientists in the study, which also involved the University of Ottawa and the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC), said the new research settles the question once and for all.

"I think it is better to be on the safe side and stick with the traditional shorter initial CPR approach," Stiell said.

The study found that increasing the time that paramedics and firefighters administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from one to three minutes provides no additional benefit.

The results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, analyzed medical data gleaned from some 10,000 US patients.

The researchers said that prompt CPR can increase blood flow to the brain and keep the body alive for a short time, but for patients with certain cardiac rhythms, the heart can only be restarted by providing electrical shocks with a defibrillator.

Paramedics and firefighters across Canada and the United States were randomly divided into groups and instructed to provide 30 to 60 seconds of initial CPR or three minutes of initial CPR. Part way through the study, the groups were switched.

An analysis of the results found that survival tended to decrease as the length of initial paramedic CPR increased in patients who also received bystander CPR and had a heart rhythm amenable to defibrillation.

Every year, more than 350,000 people in Canada and the United States suffer a sudden cardiac arrest, and less than 10 per cent survive, medical experts said.

js/sg/jm

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Middleweight

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's fastest growing full s...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Recruitment Genius: Commercial Engineer

    £30000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Estimating, preparation of tech...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician

    £14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will work as part of a smal...

    Day In a Page

    Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

    The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

    How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

    How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

    Art attack

    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
    10 best wedding gift ideas

    It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

    Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
    The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

    The ZX Spectrum is back

    The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
    Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

    Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

    The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
    Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

    Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

    If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
    The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

    The quirks of work perks

    From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
    Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

    Is bridge becoming hip?

    The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
    Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

    The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

    Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers