JAMA Studies Find Bystander, First Responder CPR Rates Rising

An editorial in the same issue says the benefits reported in the North Carolina study could be overstated because it excluded 51 counties that lacked complete case capture and 38 counties not yet contributing to the CARES registry.

Two studies published in the latest issue of JAMA report that more bystanders are providing CPR to victims of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, and that bystander and first responder CPR is resulting in better outcomes for the individuals they help. The study populations were in North Carolina (in 11 counties of the state representing about 30 percent of North Carolina's population) and Japan.

An editorial in the same issue says the benefits reported in the North Carolina study could be overstated because it excluded 51 counties that lacked complete case capture and 38 counties not yet contributing to the CARES registry, which CDC and Emory University established in 2004 to help raise out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival.

This North Carolina study involved 4,961 individual patients in counties that had implemented "multifaceted interventions" in order to increase bystander and first responder CPR interventions, the editorial states, adding that the study found survival with favorable neurologic outcomes rose from 7.1 percent in 2010 to 9.7 percent in 2013, and that bystander and first responder CPR interventions were associated with improved survival to hospital discharge.

"In terms of outcomes, we saw survival with good brain function increase by 37 percent, which is a very remarkable result," Dr. Carolina Malta Hansen of the Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, N.C., said in an interview with Reuters Health.

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