CPR Success Rate: How Effective Is CPR?

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Cardiac arrest claims more lives than cancer, influenza, pneumonia, road accidents, HIV, firearms, and house fires combined worldwide. Unfortunately, approximately 90 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims die. CPR administered immediately after cardiac arrest can increase the person’s chance of survival. But how effective does CPR is? Let’s look at the CPR success rate through some facts and statistics in this article.

Why is CPR Important?

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a crucial lifesaving procedure for someone whose heart has stopped or is no longer breathing. Within the first 4 minutes of the arrest, brain damage is not likely, and there’s still a chance of survival. Brain damage could occur within 4-6 minutes, reaching the beginning of brain death. Brain damage is likely within 6-10 minutes, and the person may suffer ongoing issues after being resuscitated. Brain death is expected to occur after 10 minutes of the arrest, and there’s a slim chance of surviving.

Despite this, around 70% of Americans are still hesitant to perform CPR because they have no training or their knowledge has lapsed. Therefore, CPR recertification should be updated every year or two. Because of this, despite its importance, people doubt they can perform a successful resuscitation.

cpr success rate

Cases of Cardiac Arrest in the United States

There are more than 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests annually in the United States. According to the Heart and Stroke Statistics report from the American Heart Association, cardiac arrest remains a public health crisis. Unfortunately, almost 90% of these cases are fatal. Many die in this situation because only 46% of victims get CPR from bystanders. And in instances where CPR was performed, it may have come after the heart had been stopped for several minutes. So the sooner you take action, the better the outcomes for a person suffering an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Is CPR Effective?

Performing Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation can double or even triple the chances of survival when performed early enough after cardiac arrest. However, the success of CPR is vastly overrated by patients. The researchers said that the general public considers CPR more effective than it is, and they tend to ignore the negative effect it can have.

In earlier studies, cardiac arrest patients had pegged CPR survival rates between 19% and 75%. But the actual chain of survival rate is about 12% for cardiac arrests that occur outside hospitals and between 24% and 40% for those that happen in the hospital, according to the report published online in the Emergency Medicine Journal.

group cpr training

What Are the 3 Factors That Impact the Rate of Survival?

For heart attack and cardiac arrest victims outside of a hospital, several factors increase their chances of making it to the hospital and recovering from being safely discharged. These factors include having the event witnessed by someone and receiving CPR as soon as possible.

1. Bystander CPR and EMS CPR:

Emergency medical responders are trained to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation at a rate of 30:2 compressions to ventilation ratio. Each chest compression manually pumps blood to the brain and other vital organs. The recommended chest compression rate is 100-120 compressions per minute. Even partially restoring blood flow can increase the chances of survival.

Compared to CPR done by a healthcare provider, bystander CPR has lower rates of survival, but it can improve the chances of survival. That’s why the American Heart Association encourages everyone to learn hands-only CPR or compression-only CPR (performing uninterrupted chest compressions without rescue breathing). Research has also found that high-quality CPR training and initiating CPR as soon as possible after the arrest significantly improve long-term survival outcomes.

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2. Whether the Cardiac Arrest Was Witnessed by Anyone:

In a clinical trial of 874 patients, it shows that cardiac arrest victims who a bystander witnessed had higher rates of survival than those who had cardiac arrest alone (without any witness)

Although bystanders performed CPR on 32% of cardiac arrest victims, early bystander CPR was not associated with increased survival. In addition, the researchers found that early bystander CPR didn’t improve survival either because the rescuer or bystander did not perform CPR correctly. These findings emphasize the importance of CPR training and early notification of paramedics by bystanders.

3. Location Where CPR Was Performed:

Researchers found a higher survival rate in Western countries when comparing post-CPR survival rates in Europe, North America, Asia, and Oceania. However, the popularity of CPR certification classes is more recent in most Asian countries than in Europe and the United States, so the quality of bystander CPR may be lower there.

The threshold for starting CPR by an emergency medical responder is also lower in other non-Western countries. These may lead to lower survival rates for OHCA in Asia.

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CPR Success Rate by Gender

There is a disturbing difference between the sexes regarding CPR initiated after a heart attack and cardiac arrest. While the rate of the likelihood of help at home is similar between males and females but not in public places. 45% of men received CPR assistance in public after SCA compared to women, which is only 39%. This means men are 1.23 times more likely to receive help from bystanders, and their chances of survival are 23% higher than women.

cpr success rate

When Resuscitation is attempted, women have lower survival rates at each stage of care. This discrepancy between gender comes down to the differences in male and female anatomy. For example, bystanders are reluctant to perform CPR on a woman because women have breasts, making some people uncomfortable and unsure whether or not they should intervene.

CPR Survival Rates Between Races and Classes

We must pay attention to differences in races. Previous studies have shown that African American victims are much more likely to suffer a cardiopulmonary arrest at a younger age, less likely to receive bystander CPR, and ultimately less likely to survive. In addition, studies have shown that African Americans are almost twice as likely to experience out-of-hospital cardiac arrest than Caucasians. Their survival rates are alarming, even when the accident occurs in a public space near bystanders. This also applies to Hispanic people.

Regarding classes, people from low-income neighborhoods who experience Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest are statistically less likely to receive help from bystanders than in high-income, mostly Caucasian communities.

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In-home OHCA survival

Most out-of-hospital cardiac arrests where CPR is attempted occur in private residential locations like home. Unfortunately, 7 out of 10 Out of OHCA happen at home, lowering the chances of bystanders witnessing it and performing CPR. This explains why the death toll remains so high.

It has also been demonstrated that out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occurring in public areas are more likely to be associated with initial ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia and have better survival rates than arrests occurring at home.

Where to Get Proper CPR Training?

Not everyone is prepared to help in a cardiopulmonary arrest. In addition, many people might not know there is a simple, affordable way to get certified in CPR, Automated External Defibrillator, and first aid. Learning how to perform CPR takes just a few hours, but it can change a life forever. Now, you can do it all online! CPR Select can prepare you to help in cardiopulmonary arrest and other emergencies. We offer the best online CPR classes for adults, children, healthcare providers, communities, and the workplace.

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Key Takeaway:

CPR is effective for long-term survival outcomes when it is performed immediately after an arrest and doing the procedure correctly. However, not everyone knows how to perform CPR, and those who do may start too late due to fear and hesitation, which may lower the success rate of CPR. There are roughly 350,000 resuscitation attempts outside hospitals each year in the United States, with average survival rates of 5 to 10 percent, and 750,000 attempts in hospitals, with about a 20 percent survival rate. If you want to test your knowledge in CPR, you can take our FREE CPR practice test.

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