Brief pause in CPR could be costly

March 6, 2009 10:01:50 AM PST
Even brief pauses in the administration of CPR can jeopardize the life of the patient. When a person is in cardiac arrest pauses of a few seconds between chest compressions decreases the likelihood that the heart can be shocked back into action.

While pauses to perform mouth-to-mouth may be necessary, they need to be as short as possible.

The study shows each second without compressions reduced the chance of restoring circulation by 1 percent.

The research was conducted at the University of Stavanger in Norway and is reported in the online journal BMC Medicine.