CPR Without Mouth-to-mouth Advised

BALTIMORE, July 28 (UPI) — A U.S. expert on cardiopulmonary resuscitation says an American and a European study both suggest dropping mouth-to-mouth from CPR and using “hands only.”

Dr. Myron “Mike” Weisfeldt, physician in chief at The Johns Hopkins Hospital says “less may be better” in CPR, and that the two studies were conducted from 2004 to 2009 involving 3,000 men and women who needed CPR.


In an editorial accompanying the studies, scheduled to be published Thursday online in the New England Journal of Medicine, Weisfeldt described the findings as straightforward, practical and potentially life-saving.

The studies show survival rates were similar for adults who received CPR from bystanders randomly assigned to provide only chest compressions and those who were instructed to do standard CPR with rescue breathing, or mouth-to-mouth after calling 911.

One study showed survival rates after one month of 8.7 percent after compression only and 7 percent using rescue breathing, while the other showed survival rates at time of hospital discharge of 12.5 percent and 11 percent — both studies had survival rates statistically the same.

However, Weisfeldt says there are some people who should receive mouth-to-mouth during CPR including patients with sudden, acute heart failure, severe chronic lung disease, acute asthma or cardiac arrest.

“It is very important to understand that the patients in this study were adults and that for most children who suffer cardiac arrest, such as drowning victims, we must do rescue breathing,” Weisfeldt says in a statement.

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