Untrained urged to use chest compressions, not full CPR
- Date: Wednesday 27th October 2010
Experts are warning members of the public against giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation unless they have been fully trained.
New guidelines say that those lacking the necessary skills should perform chest compressions only. This offers the best chance of saving a life when helping in a crisis, the guidelines say.
But if a bystander is fully trained, then full CPR with the "kiss of life" remains the best option.
Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) involves chest compressions and "rescue" breaths, with the aim of restarting the heart.
Medical charities urge people to learn full CPR and first aid.
But the 2010 Resuscitation Guidelines say untrained members of the public should attempt no more than chest compressions if they find themselves confronted by an emergency.
According to the document, every opportunity should be taken to give compression-only CPR because "any CPR is better than no CPR".
Jasmeet Soar, chair of Resuscitation Council (UK), said: "Most cardiac arrests happen outside hospital, so it is vital that as many people as possible can do CPR."
An estimated 30,000 people each year in the UK suffer cardiac arrests in public. But fewer than one in 10 survive - and only around a third receive CPR from a bystander. Studies have shown that a bystander performing CPR can double the chances of the victim living.