People who witness an adult collapse with apparent cardiac arrest should be urged to provide chest compressions without ventilations, according to a new American Heart Association advisory.
The guidelines, published online in Circulation, suggest that eliminating the expectation of mouth-to-mouth contact could improve the chances that bystanders will offer help. The AHA recommends that bystanders call 911 and then push hard and fast in the center of the victim's chest, minimizing interruptions. The effort should continue until the arrival of an automated external defibrillator or emergency medical personnel.
The AHA cited several studies suggesting that the results of compression-only response are equivalent to those of conventional CPR. The advisory's lead author told the New York Times that the ideal compression rate would be about 100 a minute, causing the chest to depress about 2 inches.