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Chest Compressions Save Lives in Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Survival statistics for people who suffer sudden cardiac arrest outside a hospital are dismal.

But in a new study by the University of Michigan Health System, researchers determined that chest compressions first vs. defibrillation first is as effective as immediate defibrillation in cases where the wait for emergency help is longer than five minutes.

Says senior author Comilla Sasson, M.D., an emergency medicine physician researcher at the University of Colorado:

"The compressions-first approach appears to be as good as the defibrillation-first approach, especially if there are delays to EMS arriving on-scene. This has major policy implications. Our study shows that chest compressions matter so even more emphasis should be placed on doing high-quality chest compressions both by laypeople providing bystander CPR and EMS providers."

Less than 10 percent of people who suffer sudden cardiac arrest outside a hospital survive. There’s an urgent need to find ways to save more lives.

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