New CPR advancements attributed to cardiac arrest survival improvementThe researchers are not so sure of which reasons could be behind this improvement. However, they strongly suspect that this could have resulted from the way hospitals now treat cardiac arrest patients and also an improvement on how bystanders respond after a person collapses suddenly.  Published in Journal Circulation, the study found that the death rate in 2009 among hospitalized Americans who had suffered from cardiac arrest was slightly below 58 percent. This had considerably decreased by about 70% in 2001. The findings were based on the database of national hospital discharge, which included about 1.2 million Americans hospitalized after cardiac arrest. The researchers stressed that this numbers accounted just for the cardiac arrest patients who had survived long enough for hospital admission.

Most cardiac arrest victims die before they reach the hospital. In fact, only less than 8 % of over 300, 000 Americans suffering cardiac arrest outside hospitals every year survive. Dr. Alajandro A. Rabinstein said that this doesn’t have anything to do with mortality rates of resuscitation attempts done for cardiac arrest cases. However, he was keen to add that the study did send a very clear message on the fact that cardiac arrest victims who manage to get hospitalized have high chances of surviving.

Advancement in CPR

Cardiac arrest usually results from problems in the electrical activity of the heart that stops the normal beating of the heart and interferes with its ability of pumping blood all over the body. Within minutes, it is extremely fatal and the victim can only be saved by restoring the normal rhythm with a shock using a defibrillator. The research team noted that several CPR advances had been made since 2001 and this enhanced cardiac arrest treatment considerably. To start with, experts strongly advise bystanders to perform the ‘hands only’ CPR that involves only the chest compressions without involving mouth to mouth breathing.

Why ‘hands only’ CPR is recommended

Hands only CPR is easily performed by the laypeople and this has even made people more willing to assist stranger with a cardiac arrest by performing CPR. The research also seemed to suggest that use of hands only CPR has significantly helped in dealing with cardiac arrest. In addition to this, members of the public can now easily access devices referred to as AEDs- automated external defibrillators. The portable versions of these devices are friendlier to the lay person and are just the same as the equipment doctor use at the hospital for shocking an arrested heart.

Rabinstein said that it is possible for these steps to have helped considerably in improving the survival of cardiac arrest patients. However, even where cardiac arrest patients manage to reach the hospital alive, this doesn’t mean that they are out of the problem as proper care must be availed for them to survive.