Since 2008, the American Heart Assn. has recommended a "hands only" approach to CPR, emphasizing the importance of performing rapid chest compressions on victims of sudden cardiac arrest. The group decided to nix the mouth-to-mouth portion of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in part because studies show that it doesn't improve overall survival, and in part to increase the odds that a bystander would perform any kind of CPR at all.
But a new study finds that the old-fashioned version of CPR is more effective at resuscitating children in cardiac arrest.
The researchers also found that conventional CPR was more likely to result in a "favorable neurological outcome" than compression-only CPR. In their analysis, 7.2 percent of children given chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth had a good outcome, compared with 1.6 percent of kids who got compressions only.
In a commentary accompanying the study, Spanish researchers say the reason is probably that most cases of sudden cardiac arrest in children - 71 percent in the Japanese study and more than 90 percent in other studies _ are probably caused by non-cardiac events. (Only about a third of cases in adults are thought to have non-cardiac origins.) In such cases, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is helpful. When cardiac arrest has a cardiac cause, either type of CPR works equally well.
They conclude that bystanders should continue to provide traditional CPR to children in cardiac arrest.
Mouth-to-Mouth CPR Better for Kids
For the last two years, the American Heart Assn. has recommended a "hands only" approach to CPR, but a new study has changed that way of thinking.
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