A new method for performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, may significantly increase the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest, according to the first large study of the technique in hospitalized patients.
The technique being tested alternates compressions of the chest with compressions of the abdomen to maintain blood flow to the heart and brain. Standard CPR uses compressions of the chest only. Both methods also employ mechanically assisted breathing or mouth-to-mouth breathing.
Researchers at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Paterson, N.J., found that 25 percent of the patients treated with the new CPR technique left the hospital alive, compared with 7 percent of those treated with the standard technique. The study, involving 135 resuscitation attempts on 103 hospitalized patients, was being reported today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.