The study is in contrast with a recent flux of research suggesting it may be beneficial to provide initial CPR for a longer period of time (up to three minutes) before analyzing the heart rhythm. Traditionally, paramedics and firefighters have analyzed heart rhythm as soon as possible, and provide only brief CPR while preparing a defibrillator.
The trial found that patient survival tended to decrease when the length of the initial paramedic CPR increased in patients who had also received bystander CPR, and had a heart rhythm responsive to defibrillation. Prompt CPR can increase blood flow to the brain and keep the body alive for a short time, but for patients with certain heart rhythms, the heart can only be restarted by providing electrical shocks with a defibrillator.
The study, supported through the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC), involved nearly 10,000 cardiac arrest patients from across North America – mostly from Canadian soil. Every year, more than 350,000 people in Canada and the U.S. suffer a sudden cardiac arrest, and less than 10 per cent survive.
About the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) is the research arm of The Ottawa Hospital and is an affiliated institute of the University of Ottawa, closely associated with the University’s Faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences. The OHRI includes more than 1,500 scientists, clinical investigators, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff conducting research to improve the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease. www.ohri.ca
About the University of Ottawa
The University of Ottawa, one of Canada’s top research-intensive universities, is working to improve the health of all Canadians through research. We are committed to excellence and encourage an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge creation, which attracts the best academic talent from across Canada and around the world.