The Resuscitation Research Group at the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center is known around the world for advancing new life saving techniques.
The group, which formed in the 1980s, brought together a team of emergency responders, from cardiologists and anesthesiologists to critical care doctors and emergency medical providers - many with different opinions - to study resuscitation techniques.
In 2002, after a decade of research, the group proposed a new approach to cardio pulmonary resuscitation, called chest-compression-only CPR. By 2010, the American Heart Association had adopted this form of CPR as the preferred method for lay people.
This method eliminates mouth-to-mouth breathing. Instead, as the name suggests, the individual only preforms chest compressions on someone who is suffering from a cardiac arrest.
Dr. Karl Kern, head of the research group and a medicine professor at the UA, said this new method saves lives. He cited an Arizona study, which found that people who were given no CPR, or the older mouth-to-mouth with compressions CPR, had similar survival rates, of 5 percent and 7 percent respectively.
The survival rate for those given chest compressions was 13 percent, or nearly double.
Compression-only-CPR is part of a protocol that includes techniques for first responders and emergency room personnel. Kern said this protocol saves as many as 40 to 50 percent of patients.
To see a demonstration of compression only CPR, watch this video from our vaults. It was produced by Pam White and aired in December 2006, just as CPR protocols were beginning to change.
The Resuscitation Research Group also does demonstrations and produces videos instructing people in compression only CPR.