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Tuesday, 6th November 2012
In General Japan News,

Japanese family members less likely to give CPR

Japanese family members are less likely to give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for cardiac arrest than friends, colleagues and strangers, new research suggests.

When family members were the first to witness and respond to cardiac arrest, as compared to bystanders, the lowest rates of survival and neurological status occurred, according to a Japanese study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012.

The results could be due to a trend identified in a previous Japanese study, which found that wives of victims and women in general are less likely to perform CPR on men.

Cardiac arrest is the abrupt loss of heart function, usually occurring from an abnormal heart rhythm that makes the heart palpitate erratically and stop pumping blood.

Effective bystander CPR given straight away following cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim's chance of survival, according to the American Heart Association.

"If you go into cardiac arrest in front of your family, you may not survive," said professor Hideo Inaba, lead author of the study and chairman of the Department of Emergency Medical Science at Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medicine in Kanazawa, Japan.

Professor Inaba recommends different strategies to tackle the issue, such as basic life support instruction targeting smaller households and recruiting well-trained members of the public who are willing to perform CPR on victims whose arrest has been witnessed by family members.

CPR given by family members may be ineffective because they are too afraid to hurt their family member or simply don't know how to execute the technique.

Demographic and cultural problems in the country, which has a large gender gap, may also have added to the results, said the expert.

Japan has a rapidly aging population, with elderly people who are mostly couples in 42 per cent of households in 2010.

The study reviewed 547,218 cardiac arrests that occurred in 2005-09. Researchers recognised nearly 140,000 incidents witnessed by bystanders without a physician's involvement. Bystander groups studied included friends, colleagues, family members and passers-by.

Posted by Susan Ballion