'Shorter CPR, shocks interval ups cardiac-arrest survival'

Reducing the pauses between chest compressions and electronic defibrillator shock improves survival, research shows.

hospital doctors health 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file[)
hospital doctors health 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file[)
Decreasing the length of time between giving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and an electronic defibrillator shock after cardiac arrest significantly increases the chance of survival, according to UT Southwestern Medical Center emergency medicine doctors involved in an international study.
Chest compressions applied within 10 seconds before the defibrillator shocks and within 20 seconds after the shock boosted survival chances by more than half , according to findings reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. This is compared to the rates for people who received chest compressions more than 20 seconds before or 40 seconds after the shock.
“We’ve been doing training in Dallas for two to three years to reduce the pauses between chest compressions and shocks to less than five seconds, and that has improved survival in the city about 60 percent,” said Dr. Ahamed Idris, professor of emergency medicine and internal medicine at UT Southwestern and a pioneer in resuscitation research and cardiopulmonary resuscitation who was also a study co-author.
“This is really a very simple thing anyone can do to increase survival,” noted Dr. Idris, director of the Dallas-Fort Worth Center for Resuscitation Research.
The study found that US emergency medical services annually treat nearly 300,000 cardiac arrest cases that occur outside the hospital, but less than 8 percent survive.