Effect of Bystander CPR for Children Assessed by Type

If event is non-cardiac in origin, CPR with rescue breathing found superior to chest compression only
By Jeff Muise
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, March 3 (HealthDay News) -- For children who have cardiac arrest outside of a hospital attributable to non-cardiac causes, conventional cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with rescue breathing is preferable, while either conventional or compression-only CPR are similarly effective for arrests of cardiac causes, according to a study published online March 3 in The Lancet.

Tetsuhisa Kitamura, M.D., of Kyoto University Health Service in Japan, and colleagues studied 5,170 children aged 17 years and younger who suffered cardiac arrest outside of a hospital and noted whether it was cardiac or non-cardiac (drowning, drug overdose, etc.) in origin, whether they got CPR, and whether CPR consisted of chest compression only or included rescue breathing. The researchers looked at survival and neurological outcomes a month later.

The researchers found that, in the 1 to 17 years age group, those who had cardiac arrest of a non-cardiac cause and received CPR had a higher survival rate and greater chance at favorable neurological outcome compared with no CPR. However, those whose CPR included rescue breathing had a 15.9 percent survival rate and 7.2 percent rate for favorable neurological outcome versus 8.9 and 1.6 percent, respectively, with compression only. With a cardiac cause, the survival and favorable neurological outcome rates were higher with CPR then without CPR; however, rates were comparable for conventional and compression-only CPR. Outcomes were found to be poor for infants.

"For children who have out-of-hospital cardiac arrests from non-cardiac causes, conventional CPR (with rescue breathing) by bystander is the preferable approach to resuscitation. For arrests of cardiac causes, either conventional or compression-only CPR is similarly effective," the authors write.

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