Health Watch - Emergency: CPR

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about responding to emergencies. The odds of surviving cardiac arrest outside the hospital are slim, but CPR can improve those odds. How CPR is done can also make a difference.           

A recent study found that the chest compressions are the important part of CPR, and maximizing the amount of time these compressions are done improves the outcome. Dr. Ahamed Idris, a UT Southwestern emergency physician, says emergency responders often have so many other things to do at the scene of an emergency that they may only spend half their time doing chest compressions. Emergency medical technicians may stop compressions to check for a pulse, do rescue breathing, start an IV or use a defibrillator. In the study, patients who got chest impressions more of the time did better. Dallas emergency responders are now being trained to start CPR immediately and to do chest compressions non-stop for at least two minutes before doing anything else.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in emergency care.


November 2009

Health Watch is heard Monday through Friday nationwide on ABC Satellite Radio. Call your local radio station and ask if they carry the program.