Cardiac patients fared slightly better when ventilation was added to chest compressions during CPR.
New research says that patients given cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with pauses for ventilation while doing chest compressions, had a better outcome than those who received chest compressions only, but only slightly better, according to a upi.com story.
While individuals trained in CPR are taught to include ventilation, doing chest compressions only is acceptable for those who are not trained and are providing CPR on an emergency basis.
Dr. Graham Nichol, director of the University of Washington-Harborview Center for Pre-hospital Emergency Care said in a press release that either method is permitted by EMS providers, and that their trial revealed that both methods produce favorable outcomes, with the ventilation method slightly better.
The research looked at survival rates for 23,709 adults who experienced cardiac arrest for the period of June 2011 to Nay 2015, and were treated at 114 emergency agencies. In the data, about half received chest compressions and ventilation, while the other half chest compressions only.
Of those receiving ventilation, 9.7 percent lived to be discharged from the hospital, and had more days alive after leaving the hospital than those receiving compressions only, with 8.9 percent surviving the hospital stay.
There was also a slight uptick in the percentage of those getting favorable neurological scores on the Rankin scale for the patients who were ventilated, at 7.7 percent versus 7.0 for those who were not.
Thought the differences were small, the researchers say this information could lead to revising the guidelines for CPR in some situations.
They also note the study was done on emergency staff performing the CPR and not bystanders trying to provide assistance.
The results seem to suggest that cardiac patients also need oxygen during an event, and that skipping some chest compressions does not appear to harm the patient. In fact, pausing to ventilate may provide some benefit.
Previous studies have shown that the general public responds better to chest compression-only CPR and, with more bystanders responding leading to an increase in survival rate, prompted a change in the recommendations for the public in 2010.
Experts say that either method is an acceptable way to assist a cardiac patient in an emergency situation.