A group in Canada studied nearly 10,000 cardiac arrest patients. They divided their rescue teams into two groups: those who would perform 30-60 seconds of initial CPR, and those who would perform three minutes of CPR. The results showed that about six percent of patients in both groups lived to be discharged from the hospital.
Where the numbers were rather shocking is in the ten percent of patients who had also received bystander CPR and were candidates for defibrilation. Longer CPR actually decreased the odds of survival.
The study, which was published in the September 1 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that there is no reason to do two minutes of CPR or to delay defibrillation. It doesn’t change anything for bystander CPR, however, so the message to the public is still the same. Bystanders should start CPR right away, this trial does not address how helpful CPR is when delivered by a bystander at the scene.
Getting to the defibrillator sooner is more helpful for cardiac arrest patients.