Cardiac Arrest, CPR Attempts Vary by Neighborhood

Study suggests need for neighborhood targeting of CPR training to improve survival
By Jeff Muise
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- Some neighborhoods consistently have more cardiac arrests than others and fewer bystanders who attempt to perform emergency cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), according to research published online June 1 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Comilla Sasson, M.D., of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues gathered data from the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival on 1,018 cardiac arrests that occurred in 2005 to 2008 in 161 census tracts in Fulton County, Ga., the county that includes the city of Atlanta.

The researchers found that the adjusted rates of cardiac arrest incidence varied by neighborhood, with some neighborhoods having two to three times the incidence rate of other neighborhoods, though the rates were stable from year to year. Meanwhile, the adjusted rates for bystander-attempted CPR varied from 10 to 57 percent. The researchers concluded that, if the rates of bystander-attempted CPR achieved by the highest-performing census tracts were replicated across the county, 355 more persons suffering cardiac arrest would receive CPR and 15 additional lives would be saved each year.

"Surveillance data can identify neighborhoods with persistently high incidence of cardiac arrest and low rates of bystander CPR. These neighborhoods are promising targets for community-based interventions," the authors write.

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