Two coming to the rescue better than one

Monday, September 10th, 2012 | In Knowledge | Tags: , ,

Two coming to the rescue better than one
~ Two coming to the rescue better than one ~

When somebody suffers cardiac arrest in a public place, the odds of survival are better when more than one bystander comes to the rescue, according to a Japanese study. But the researchers, whose report appeared in the journal Resuscitation, said that there was no survival advantage to having multiple rescuers for cardiac arrests suffered at home, which is where most take place.

An increased number of rescuers improve the outcomes of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. However, this beneficial effect is absent in out-of-hospital cardiac arrests that occur at home. The American Heart Association (AHA) and other groups say that everyone should learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR, which generally means “hands-only” or just chest compressions without any mouth-to-mouth breathing. Studies have shown this is just as effective as the traditional way when it comes to helping adult cardiac arrest victims.

The Japanese study found that among more than 5,000 adults who went into cardiac arrest outside of a hospital, the odds of surviving were up to two times higher when more than one person tried to help. Some 6% of victims were alive one year later when three or more “rescuers” were there, versus 3% when only one person came to their aid.
When two people responded, the survival rate was 4%. The researchers did not know if all of those rescuers performed CPR. Some may just have tried to help in some way, the researchers noted. Still, the findings do show that the more bystanders who jump into action, the better, according to the spokesman for AHA.

The Study confirms the importance of bystanders responding to cardiac arrest, and the importance of early CPR. CPR alone cannot restart the heart when it stops, but it can keep the flow of blood and oxygen moving until medical help arrives. So along with performing CPR, bystanders need to immediately call for emergency help.

According to the AHA, more than 380,000 people in the United States go into cardiac arrest outside a hospital each year, but most people have either not learned CPR at all or their training has lapsed. “Hands only” CPR is easily learned with or without a class and there is a video that demonstrate how to perform simple Hands only CPR at Hands only CPR. The basic instruction is to give strong, steady chest compressions at a rate of 100 per minutes.

Experts, interestingly, have pointed out that humming the Bee Gees’ 1970s disco song Stayin’s Alive will help rescuers find the 100-beat-per-minute rhythm. Learning CPR is something people often feel that they can put off, but you never know when you will be called upon to act and help save a life.

Information via Reuters.


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