Dr. Pepe, along with international colleagues from the Council of Standards for the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch (NAED), made the recommendation in the May issue of the journal Resuscitation.
The council had been asked to update and modify protocols for emergency dispatchers who may need to give rapid telephone instructions on how to perform CPR. The council's recommendations were based largely on experimental data and a supportive clinical trial that found improved survival with a "compressions-only" approach.
The council's recommendations were also based on the notion that simplifying the guidelines would increase the chances that CPR will be performed since some people may be reluctant to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
"Not only is this new protocol easier to use, it gets more people willing to perform life-saving actions," said Lt. Janet Raysby Cowan of the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department Dispatch Office. "We are really pleased with this official recommendation and believe it will save more lives."
Dr. Lynn Roppolo, assistant professor of emergency medicine at UT Southwestern and the article's lead author, said the NAED council offered four major recommendations. First, if bystanders are already performing traditional CPR, they should be encouraged to continue. Second, the traditional form of CPR ("airway, breathing, circulation") should be recommended in situations including trauma, choking, strangulation, drowning, smoke inhalation or carbon monoxide poisoning, in which oxygenation problems probably led to the heart attack.