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Bystander Resuscitation Found to Rarely Cause Injury

Last Updated: December 22, 2009.

Patients who receive bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation based on directions are unlikely to sustain an injury as a result, even if they are not in arrest, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in Circulation.

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who receive bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) based on directions are unlikely to sustain an injury as a result, even if they are not in arrest, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in Circulation.

Lindsay White, of Public Health Seattle-King County, and colleagues investigated 1,700 patients who underwent dispatcher-assisted CPR instructions, of whom 938 (55 percent) were in arrest, while 762 (45 percent) were not in arrest and 313 (18 percent) were not in arrest and underwent chest compressions by a bystander.

The authors note that there was a complete outcome ascertainment available for 247 of the subjects who received bystander chest compressions but were not in arrest, and this data revealed that 29 (12 percent) experienced discomfort, but only six (2 percent) sustained injuries probably as a result of the CPR.

"Ultimately, 18 percent of dispatcher instruction resulted in chest compression for patients not in arrest," White and colleagues conclude. "However, the frequency of serious injury in the non-arrest group was very low. Coupled with the established benefits of bystander CPR among those with arrest, these results support an assertive program of dispatcher-assisted CPR as a meaningful approach to improve survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest."

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