The chances of survival lessen the longer CPR is performed

The longer an unconscious patient receives CPR, the worse their chances are for survival and good outcomes in general, according to a study published Feb. 7 in the British Medical Journal.

Researchers looked at the outcomes of nearly 350,000 patients who received CPR while in the hospital and found that two-thirds regained consciousness and a beating heart at a median time of seven minutes, but CPR did not work in the remaining third who received CPR for a median of time of 20 minutes.

Of the individuals who were resuscitated successfully, however, after only a single minute of CPR, 22% of patients survived and 15% had good outcomes. But in the cases of longer durations of CPR, everything changes. In the study, after receiving CPR for 32 minutes, the odds of surviving with a good outcome were less than 1%.

The information provides important clinical "insights into the likelihood of favorable outcomes if patients pending the first return of spontaneous circulation continue to receive further cardiopulmonary resuscitation," the authors of the study wrote.

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