Bystander CPR

NEW ORLEANS – Since guidelines have endorsed the use of compression-only or Hands-Only CPR by people not trained or unwilling to provide rescue breaths during resuscitation attempts, Swedish bystanders are trying to help at a far greater rate.

Using a national registry in Sweden of 23,169 bystander-witnessed cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, researchers compared the total rate of bystander CPR attempted and the proportions of standard CPR , which involves both rescue breaths and chest compressions, and Hands-Only CPR. They found:

  • Bystanders attempted to resuscitate a total of 38 percent of people in cardiac arrest from 2000-2005 — before compressions-only-CPR was introduced into the guidelines.
  • During 2006-2010 — after guidelines noted that dispatcher guidance of laypeople in compressions-only CPR might be preferable — 59 percent of bystanders attempted resuscitation CPR.
  • The total rate of CPR attempts rose to 70 percent during 2011-2014, after guidelines strongly recommended that dispatchers instruct untrained bystanders in compressions-only-CPR.
  • Most of the increase in bystander CPR during the last 15 years in Sweden was associated with increased use of compressions-only-CPR, from 5 percent in 2000-2005 to 15 percent in 2006-2010 to 28 percent in 2011-2014.

The 30-day survival of people with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest was not significantly different between those receiving compressions-only-CPR (13.6 percent) and standard CPR (12.9 percent). Either approach resulted in far higher survival than when no CPR was attempted (6.4 percent during 2011-2014).

The  study was presented Saturday at the Resuscitation Science Symposium taking place at American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016.