Objective: Chest compression only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CC-CPR) without ventilation has been proposed as an alternative to standard cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for bystanders. However, there has been controversy regarding the relative effectiveness of both of these techniques. We aim to compare the outcomes of cardiac arrest patients in the cardiac arrest and resuscitation epidemiology study who either received CC-CPR, standard CPR or no bystander CPR.
Methods: This prospective cohort study involved all out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients attended to by emergency medical service (EMS) providers in a large urban centre. The data analyses were conducted secondarily on these collected data. The technique of bystander CPR was reported by paramedics who arrived at the scene.
Results: From 1 October 2001 to 14 October 2004, 2428 patients were enrolled into the study. Of these, 255 were EMS-witnessed arrests and were excluded. 1695 cases did not receive any bystander CPR, 287 had standard CPR and 154 CC-CPR. Patient characteristics were similar in both the standard and CC-CPR groups except for a higher incidence of residential arrests and previous heart disease sufferers in the CC-CPR group. Patients who received standard CPR (odds ratio (OR) 5.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.1-14.0) or CC-CPR (OR 5.0, 95% CI 1.5-16.4) were more likely to survive to discharge than those who had no bystander CPR. There was no significant difference in survival to discharge between those who received CC-CPR and standard CPR (OR 0.9, 95% CI 0.3-3.1).
Conclusion: We found that patients were more likely to survive with any form of bystander CPR than without. This emphasises the importance of chest compressions for OHCA patients, whether with or without ventilation.