The answer seems so simple – the more people you have helping to deliver CPR, the easier it is going to be for everyone and the better chance you will have of reviving the casualty? But is this always right? The answer is surprisingly no.
A recent study has provided the answers to this very question. The study investigated whether the number of rescuers has any impact on the survival rates of out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients. The Japanese researchers looked at over 4000 cases, the number of rescuers at the scene and the final survival rates of these patients.
The results of the study were surprisingly mixed. The researchers found that the greater number of rescuers does not always result in improved survival rates for OHCA patients.
Out in the public, the numbers game holds true. The greater number of people you have assisting to deliver CPR in public does result in improved survival. However switch the setting to the home and the numbers advantage is not there. When CPR is delivered in the home, more rescuers does not equal improved survival rates.
So what is going on here? Are we seeing patient’s relatives that may be lower skilled and trained, coming in to perform CPR out of shear desperation to save their loved ones? Similarly, in the public, is there a higher likelihood of a higher CPR skilled bystander coming into assist and perform CPR, resulting in improved CPR quality and survival? The study results do present some interesting questions.