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CPR Can Save Young Lives, Too

by The Kid's Doctor Staff

A new study out challenges the widespread belief that cardiac resuscitation is not effective in young people. The study reports that the rescue measure is worth the effort in children and teens who suffer cardiac arrest.

Researchers found that children and adolescents who had a non-traumatic, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest had higher survival rates than adults and infants. However, infants younger than one-year-old had lower survival rates than adults.

“Previously, if you talked to most emergency medicine doctors and emergency medicine technicians, they would say that children almost never survive a cardiac arrest,” Dr. Dianne L. Atkins, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine and Children’s Hospital in Iowa City and lead author of the study, said in an American Heart Association news release. “What we showed is that children and teenagers, in fact, do better than adults.”

The study appears in the March 9, 2009 online issue of Circulation.

The researchers recommended that additional therapies and resuscitation methods do need to be developed for infants, children and adolescents to improve their survival rates.

“We put a lot of effort into developing better therapies and better ways to resuscitate adults,” Atkins said. “We also need to put that same effort into children because they actually do have a slightly higher survival.”

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