New England Journal of Medicine Study Reveals Efficacy of Hands-Only CPR

An article published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine has shed new light on the effectiveness of hands-only CPR. A hot topic in the media sparks the question; why change the protocol for what has seemed to work fine for years?

The thought process behind the NEJM study was to encourage more bystanders to aid in the resuscitation of another person when mouth-to-mouth breathing isn’t necessary. A study of 1941 patients included in the study revealed “No significant difference between the two groups in the proportion of patients who survived to hospital discharge…” (Thomas D. Rea, M.D. et al.) The article proceeds to state “The results support a strategy for CPR performed by laypersons that emphasizes chest compressions and minimizes the role of rescue breathing.”

According to the CNN Health article, Hands-only CPR as effective as traditions, studies show, the American Red Cross issued a statement stating that “[compressions without mouth-to-mouth resuscitation] is an acceptable alternative for those who are unwilling, or not trained to perform full CPR.”

Regardless of the abovementioned discoveries, it’s always recommended that parents, employees and caregivers learn how to properly provide CPR and other first aid care in case of an emergency. The American Red Cross website features a zip code search function for locating a Red Cross Course in your area.

Click the following title to read the abstract for the New England Journal of Medicine Article, titled CPR with Chest Compressions Alone or with Rescue Breathing. Subscription required for viewing the full-text article.

Disclaimer: Tamarack Habilitation Technologies, Inc. does not endorse or recommend any particular treatment protocol mentioned above. Contact your local Red Cross Provider to learn more about proper CPR, AED and first aid training.

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