Study: Bystander CPR may boost survival odds in heart attack victims

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Individuals suffering from cardiac arrest who receive bystander-initiated CPR while waiting for an ambulance to arrive have higher survival rates, according to a recent study published in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation.

For the study, researchers examined 7,623 out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients between 2005-2011 using data from the Danish Cardiac Arrest Register. They analyzed the association between ambulance response time and 30-day survival rates for patients who did and did not receive bystander CPR.

As response times increased, the 30-day survival rates for all patients, regardless of CPR, decreased. However, for a five minute ambulance response time, individuals who received bystander CPR had a 2.3 times higher chance of survival than those who did not receive CPR. For a 10 minute response time, individuals who received CPR had a 6.7 percent chance of 30-day survival, compared to just 2.2 percent for the other group.

Researchers estimate an additional 233 patients could potentially be saved annually if response time was reduced from 10 minutes to five minutes.

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