:Cardiopulmonary resuscitation performed with only chest compressions is just as
effective — or perhaps more so — as CPR that includes mouth-to-mouth breathing,
to two studies in the New
England Journal of Medicine. One study looked at 1,900-plus people in
the Seattle and London areas, while the other focused on 1,200 similar cases in
The study found when emergency operators instructed bystanders to perform CPR
without rescue breathing the patient had a slightly higher survival rate
compared to when those instructions included mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Either way about 90 percent of patients died or suffered brain damage — but the
findings could still encourage more people to perform CPR, since many people
find mouth-to-mouth breathing unsanitary.
"If you witness a cardiac arrest all you have to do is apply chest pressure
100 times a minute firmly — not too firmly, because you don’t want to break any
ribs — but you don’t have to administer mouth-to-mouth breathing," Dr. Ross
"I wonder whether this is a kiss of death for the old way of doing CPR," says