CPR performed by bystanders after heart attacks could be critical in the victim’s survival rate, it’s been found. Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is a major public health issue, accounting for approximately 200 000 deaths per year in the United States alone. A new study examined whether increased use of defibrillators and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by first responders and bystanders could help increase survival for people who experience an out-of-hospital heart attack.

In recent years, initiatives in that country have encouraged improvement in the use of CPR and automated external defibrillators (AEDs) by training more members of the general public.

Bystander-initiated CPR was associated with a greater likelihood of survival with favourable neurologic outcome. The combination of bystander CPR and first responder defibrillation increased from 14 per cent in 2010 to 23 per cent in 2013. Results found that patients who received bystander or first responder interventions before arrival of the emergency medical services (EMS) were more likely to survive compared to those who received EMS intervention alone.

Source: JAMA Network/The Newmarket