A heart attack victim should receive up to 200 chest compressions without interruption for the best chance of survival. It's part of a new emergency technique called minimally-interrupted cardiac resuscitation (MICR), which can increase survival rates by eight times compared with the current approach.
Emergency crews who have been trained in MICR are already achieving extraordinary results, a new study has discovered.
Researchers carried out a 'before and after' study into the success rates of fire department emergency medical crews in Arizona. Before MICR training, the crews were achieving a 4.7 per cent survival rate in heart attack patients - but this leapt to 17.6 per cent once they started applying MICR techniques.
MICR is far more aggressive than current emergency treatment. It involves 200 uninterrupted chest compressions, then single shock treatment, followed by 200 more chest compressions.
(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2008; 299: 1158-65).