Urgent treatment carried out on patients who suffer cardiac arrest should be focused on performing chest compressions, according to new research.
The study, which appeared in the Circulation journal and is the largest ever carried out, found that emergency services staff usually spend 50 per cent of treatment time carrying out chest compressions when a patient goes into cardiac arrest, but that this is not enough.
Dr Ahamed Idris, principal inestigator in the Dallas area of the project, pointed out that it is because they are involved in other tasks such as giving ventilation and checking for a pulse.
The study found patients given chest compressions for up to 80 per cent of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) treatment had more chance of shocking the heart.
Dr Idris explained: "This study reinforces that interrupting chest compressions has a bad effect on survival. It also provides a rationale for relatively simple changes to CPR training."
Last month, doctors from University Hospital Aachen in Germany declared that anyone who has seen a medical television show such as ER has the capability to safely insert a laryngeal mask airway to keep a person's airway open during CPR.