TAIPEI (CNA) — Children who receive CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) after their heart stop beating are twice as likely to regain a spontaneous heartbeat than those who do not follow emergency treatment, according to a study released Thursday.
The study, conducted by Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, analyzed data on 152 patients, all under the age of 18, who had no heartbeat when they arrived at the hospital.
On average the hospital treated 1.5 such underage patient cases per month from 2005 to 2016, said Li Jung (李嶸), head of the hospital’s pediatric emergency medicine department.
Of the 152 patients, only 15 received CPR after their heart stopped beating and in 60 percent of those cases, the patient’s heart started beating again following emergency treatment at the hospital.
In comparison, the study found that for the 137 patients who did not receive CPR, only 32 percent regained spontaneous heartbeat after treatment.
Receiving CPR also allows oxygen flow to the brain to continue, thus preventing the patient from suffering permanent brain damage, according to Wu Chang-teng (吳昌騰), a pediatric emergency physician at the hospital.
Although many parents worry that performing CPR could hurt their children, Wu stressed that CPR can be performed on all adults and children.
When performing CPR on children under 1-year-old, parents should press down with their index finger and middle finger. They can also press down with their thumbs if they are holding their child in their hands, said Wu.
For children over 1-year-old, parents should press down with one hand to perform the procedure, Wu said.
According to the study, the 152 patients were evenly split between male and female. Over 47% of patients were under 1-year-old, and 76% of the total cases occurred at the patient’s home.
The study also found that in 54% of cases, a patient’s heart stop beating because of suffocation caused by choking, drowning or fire.
Although one third of patients analyzed regained spontaneous heartbeat after treatment, only 14% survived and only 5% had no complications as a result of the incident, the study showed.