Heart attack? Forget the mouth-to-mouth: study
Thu Mar 15, 8:03 PM ET
PARIS (AFP) - The chances of surviving a heart attack outside a hospital double if a bystander performs chest-compressions but omits the mouth-to-mouth resuscitation widely regarded as part of standard rescue procedure, according to a study released Friday.
Nearly everyone has witnessed the scene dozens of times on television, and perhaps a time or two in real life: someone, mostly likely a man getting on in years, collapses to the pavement clutching his chest.
A take-charge passerby drops to his side, pinches the victim's nose and begins mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, alternating this treatment by pushing repeatedly and vigorously on his chest.
But there is something wrong with this textbook picture of CPR -- shorthand for cardio-pulmonary resuscitation -- according to the study, published in the British journal The Lancet: it does more harm than good.
Not only is there "no evidence for any benefit from the addition of mouth-to-mouth ventilation," writes Ken Nagao, a doctor at the Nihon University hospital in Tokyo who led the study of more than 4000 heart arrest cases in the Kanto area of Japan.
The chances of surviving with a "favorable neurological outcome" are twice as high when would-be rescuers skip the mouth-to-mouth and focus exclusively on trying to revive the heart by rhythmic chest-compressions.
"This finding ... should lead to a prompt interim revision of the guidelines for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest," wrote Gordon Ewy, director of the University of Arizona's Sarver Heart Center, in a commentary.
Read the article here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070316/hl_afp/healthheartjapan_070316000322