Heart Massages for Cardiac Arrests

A new study carried out by Swedish doctors including a professor at Stockholm's South General Hospital shows that heart massage is just as effective as mouth-to-mouth resuscitation as first aid in case of cardiac arrest.

The study has now been published in the New England Journal of Medicine and maintains that assistance has to be successful in the first five minutes to get the heart functioning again.

Some 5,000 people in Sweden suffer from cardiac arrest every year and only 8% survive.

Swedish doctors add that chances of survival increase by 50% if first-aid is given immediately.

About one million people in this Nordic nation have been taught how to give heart massages - and doctors want to expand training to many more in this nation of 9 million.

At the same time, medical studies show that it takes ambulances three more minutes today to reach a victim of cardiac arrest than a few years ago.

The reasons offered are big city traffic problems and that there are fewer ambulances today with more to do.