Study finds how quick you should administer CPR during cardiac arrest

CPR has been a practice known to save lives but the time it takes to restore heart function when someone is experiencing cardiac arrest may be slimmer than you may realize. 

Researchers analyzed data from nearly 350,000 adult patients across the country from 2000 to 2021. 

This data revealed CPR's effectiveness and helped researchers get closer to determining how quickly one would have to act in order to save someone's life. 

Surival chances plummet after 60 seconds

In the study published earlier this month by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, scientists found the likelihood of surviving cardiac arrest while using CPR decreases from 22 percent after one minute to less than one percent after 40 minutes. 

Study researchers sought out to determine how the duration of CPR and the timing of it being given to a patient impacts the likelihood of survival and of limiting the risk of severe brain injury. 

Scientists found that the chance of escaping major brain damage from cardiac arrest declines from 15% after one minute of CPR to less than 1% after 32 minutes with no re-established heartbeat.

"The findings provide resuscitation teams, patients and their surrogates with insights into the likelihood of favorable outcomes if patients pending the first return of spontaneous circulation continue to receive further cardiopulmonary resuscitation," said study led by Dr. Masashi Okubo.

This study currently represents the largest dataset of such cases available in the world. 

Time is of the essence 

Researchers also noted that two-thirds of patients responded to CPR within an average of seven minutes, while 33% failed to re-establish a heartbeat after an average 20 minutes of CPR.

"Most termination of resuscitation occurred before the time point of traditional medical futility," the researchers noted in a journal news release.

"Further research is needed to evaluate whether patients' outcomes would improve with prolonged cardiopulmonary resuscitation before termination of resuscitation," the team continued.