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Chest compressions more vital to CPR than rescue breaths

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A research study into resuscitation procedures has found that concentrating on chest compressions rather than mouth-to-mouth can increase a patient’s chances of survival.

According to a study of 3,000 patients published in The Lancet, this practice can increase chances of survival by more than 22%.

However, experts have stressed the importance of training in both areas of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as the UK Resuscitation Council gets set to unveil new CPR guidelines.

The study, compiled by doctors from the Medical University of Vienna in Austria, examined survival rates of people treated by untrained members of the public being instructed by emergency services over the phone.

Dr Peter Nagele, from the department of anaesthesiology, critical care and pain therapy at the Medical University of Vienna, revealed that if untrained bystanders avoided mouth-to-mouth breaths during CPR, they were more likely to perform uninterrupted chest compressions, which increased the probability of CPR being successful.

Dr Jas Soar, chair of the Resuscitation Council from Southmead Hospital in Bristol, indicated that continuous, uninterrupted chest compressions are vital for successful CPR.

He said: “Any CPR is better than no CPR. If you witness a cardiac arrest, dial 999 immediately. Those trained in CPR should follow existing guidance of 30 chest compressions followed by two rescue breaths.

“Those not trained should start compressions and follow instructions until an expert arrives.”


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