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Monday, September 5, 2011

There's nothing like evidence to set the record straight.

The 2005 revisions to the BLS protocols stated that two minutes of CPR should precede defibrillation. A study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that there was no difference in outcomes between two large groups: (a) those that had 30-60 seconds of CPR before defibrillation and (b) those that had 180 seconds of CPR before defibrillation.

It will be interesting to see the letters to the editor published in subsequent issues.

The disappointing aspect of the study is that it showed a 5.9% survival rate, where survival means discharge from the hospital in a condition that permits the victim to perform the acts of daily living - i.e., with minor neurological deficits.

This does not mean that it doesn't matter how soon you defibrillate doesn't matter. Other studies have shown that defibrillating early helps. It does mean that during the 1-3 minute time-frame it doesn't make a lot of difference.

For the sake of your family & friends, get trained in CPR soon. For your sake, get your family & friends to get trained.


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