by Heather

October 15, 2010

It has been reported today in a variety of newspapers (including the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail) that mouth-to-mouth resuscitation may be a thing of the past.

The Study

The newspapers reported on a recent study undertaken by American researchers Dr Peter Nagele, of Washington University School of Medicine, and Drs Michael Hüpfl and Harald Selig, of the Medical University of Vienna, and published in the Lancet.  In particular, the study found that undertaking uninterrupted chest compression CPR improves chances of survival by up to 22% than when mouth to mouth was included.


These studies appear to have been conducted on people who have had no instruction in how to perform resuscitation and have started chest compressions on the advice of the ambulance despatch centre.

Current UK guidelines suggest that if you come across someone who has collapsed and is not breathing you should call 999 and then start CPR. CPR is started by doing 30 compressions, followed by 2 rescue breaths. However, if you are unwilling or unable to do the breathing bit than it is ok to just do chest compression CPR.

The UK Resuscitation Council is due to revise these guidelines early next week and minor changes may be made to CPR instruction.

However in the meantime, if you have had some training then please continue to resuscitate as you have been taught and follow those processes until your training provider has updated you.  If you have no idea what to do in an emergency,  call 999 or 112 and follow their instructions, as the ambulance service will be able to talk you through the process until skilled help arrives.

We will keep you posted with the latest guidelines as they are released.

For further information about resuscitation please see

About the author 


Heather is co-owner and Director of Training of HTS Training Ltd - the specialist first aid training providers. She has been a registered nurse for over 25 years, and has been training first aid commercially for more than 15 years.

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