Will CPR Save Your Life? Probably Not, Study Says

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY July 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) – The success of CPR is greatly overestimated by patients, according to a new study.

Not only does the general public consider CPR to be more effective than it actually is, it tends to minimize the negative effect it can have, the researchers said.

Doctors should discuss the success rate, benefits and risks of CPR with patients and their loved ones, the study authors suggested. CPR is an emergency procedure for a person whose heart has stopped or who is no longer breathing.

Emergency physicians often talk to patients or their families about end-of-life care and the resuscitation process. According to Dr. Norkamari Shakira Bandolin, of the University of California, Davis, and colleagues, patients ‘and families’ expectations for CPR can affect the medical care provided.

In previous studies, patients had set CPR survival rates between 19% and 75%. But the real survival rate is around 12% for cardiac arrests that occur outside hospitals and between 24% and 40% for those that occur in hospitals, according to the report published online July 13 in the Journal of emergency medicine.

For the new study, the Bandolin team interviewed 500 emergency department patients and their companions.

Fifty-three percent reported having attended or attended CPR, and 64% reported taking a CPR course. Ninety-five percent said their main source of information about CPR was television.

About half said that the success rate for CPR had exceeded 75%. And nine out of 10 said they wanted CPR if it was needed.

But only 28% had discussed CPR with a doctor, the investigators noted in a press release.

“These results should prompt emergency physicians to start resuscitation discussions with their patients while providing them with key information to facilitate informed decision-making,” the researchers wrote.

The study authors said that the discussion should focus “on actual survival rates and outcomes” and should not assume that a patient or companion with health care experience will have realistic expectations.

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SOURCE:Journal of emergency medicine, press release, July 13, 2020

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