For CPR, Age Isn't Just a Number

CPR was less likely to be administered to older people at home

(RxWiki News) Friends and family members may be less likely to administer CPR to older patients experiencing sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), a new study found.

The same study also found that relatively few older Americans were trained on how to administer CPR.

"Most SCAs occur in the home and older victims are less likely to get CPR from a bystander, like a spouse or other family member, making it very likely that the age/training relationship has a big impact on actual CPR delivery, and therefore lives saved or lost," said senior study author Dr. Benjamin Abella, of the University of Pennsylvania, in a press release.

The authors of this study pointed out that older patients were both the most likely to experience SCA and the least likely to receive CPR at home, according to their study. For instance, an 80-year-old person experiencing SCA was 62 percent less likely to receive CPR than a 50-year-old patient. This study didn't find the same trend for SCA instances in older patients in public settings.

These researchers looked at data from a national registry focused on resuscitation outcomes that spanned 2011 to 2015. They also used a phone survey of more than 9,000 people to see how many had been trained in CPR. Around 65 percent of respondents had received training, but only 18 percent had been trained in the previous two years.

Participants who were age 60 or older were around 50 percent less likely than those younger than 49 to have been trained in CPR, this study found.

"We need more aggressive, innovative, and creative efforts to reach the population at risk," Dr. Abella said. "For example, we should consider training videos while you're waiting for a train, renewing your driving licenses, or in the waiting room before you see your doctor."

In the meantime, it might not be a bad idea to check with your health care provider or local health department about CPR training classes in your area.

This study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

The American Heart Association and Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute funded this research. Study authors disclosed ties to various medical organizations.

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Review Date: 
June 1, 2017