Cardiac arrests are almost always fatal. This is because the longer it takes for the body to start pumping blood on its own, the lower the chances are for a patient to return to normal brain function. However, a new study featured on Science Daily shows that doing 38 minutes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) may raise his or her odds of survival.

Researchers analyzed the out-of-hospital cardiac arrest registry in Japan from 2005 to 2011, measuring the amount of time it took for the patients’ hearts to start pumping blood after collapse and taking note of their brain health afterward.

Based on their findings, it appears that individuals whose hearts took 21 minutes to return to spontaneous circulation suffered from major brain disability. The chances of getting through an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest without severe brain damage decreased by 5 percent for every 60 seconds that passed before spontaneous circulation returns. However, performing CPR for 38 minutes or longer may lead to better chances of survival.

This just goes to show that knowing how to do CPR is important. In fact, another study shows that individuals who sit through a one-minute CPR training video may already save lives in emergencies.

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(Photo by John Trainor via Flickr Creative Commons)

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