Cardiac arrest toll eased by new CPR Abdominal push added to chest compression.

January 15, 1992|By Los Angeles Times

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.

Dr. Jeffrey B. Sack, the principal author of the study, said he was encouraged by the results but would not recommend a change in CPR procedures based on the results of one study.

"In general, the outcomes [of CPR] are poor," said Sack, who is now a cardiology fellow at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. "If we can come up with improved methods that increase the chances of surviving cardiac arrest, we can potentially save many more people."

The New Jersey study is continuing and will be expanded, Sack said.

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