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Improve chest compressions to reduce deaths from cardiac arrest, new guidance says

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 18 October 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5794
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

People untrained in resuscitation should be encouraged to perform chest compressions but not to give rescue breaths to people with cardiac arrest, recommend new UK guidelines.

The guidelines emphasise the importance of maintaining continuous chest compressions in a person with cardiac arrest, as interruptions commonly occur and are associated with a reduced chance of survival. Compressions are often not deep enough—whether carried out by healthcare professionals in hospital or by others outside­­—and at too slow a rate.

Less than 10% of people who have cardiac arrests outside hospital survive to be discharged after subsequent hospital treatment. Research indicates that this …

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