CPR: The Longer, The Better

November 26, 2012Comments Off on CPR: The Longer, The Better

Getting involved in a medical emergency, especially if you do not have any background on how to apply CPR, can be very stressful. After all, what becomes of the victim rests largely on your hands. The situation is even more compounded by the fact that the person attending to the victim might not have any training in CPR or first aid. That being the case, the question becomes how long should one stay on the case and keep trying? Well, there’s no need to worry anymore.

Recent studies into the efficacy of CPR has concluded that, if possible, the first aider or responder should continue well until the paramedics arrive or the patient regains consciousness. This after the people behind the study had observed a significant number of cases of people making it through a cardiac arrest after the doctor, or the medical professional, persisted with the life-saving procedure for nine minutes more. The results of the said study might surprise many since, for a long time now, it was believed that persisting with the procedure can be quite futile. After all, should a patient survive, he or she might have to contend with damages to major organs brought about by the lack of needed oxygen.

The study was published in The Lancet with Dr. Zachary D. Goldberger as the head author, and is considered to be the first one to show the relationship between the length of CPR and the probability for survival. The study, however, focuses on the hospital setting although the respondents for the said study is considerably significant making it one of the largest done when it comes to CPR. More than 60,000 cases where reviewed in order to come up with the results of the study. These cases were spread out in about 435 hospitals all over the US, between the years 2000 to 2008.

Some of the surprising results of the study include the significant differences in the duration that the CPR was administered with some institutions going between 16 to 25 minutes. The researchers were also surprised to note that the longer the CPR was administered, the higher the chances of survival. What’s more, regardless of the length of the CPR, the patient was able to do well and showed no side effects.

Since the length of time that a person should continue administering CPR is not really under any guideline, most medical professionals recommend that hospitals and similar institutions should make the necessary changes in how they handle unconscious patients specifically when it comes to the extent of CPR that they have to administer. Although the study does not indicate that longer CPR for every case is the answer, it is still best to continue doing CPR for 30 minutes before giving up on the patient.

You can make sure that you know what to do should a medical emergency arise by undergoing a CPR training and certification program being offered by Citywide CPR.