Cardiopulmonary resuscitation – would you do it?

  • Su-May Liew


The use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR as it is better known, as a means of prolonging life in a pulseless and non-breathing person, has almost universally been accepted as sacrosanct in the practice of medicine. Mouthto-mouth ventilation was first recommended by the National Research Council of USA in 1957 1 and the first reported out-of-hospital resuscitation took place in 1960.1 It has been reported that survival rates and hospital discharge of up to 43% can be achieved when CPR is started within 3 to 4 minutes.1 Also, the combination of CPR with immediate on-site defibrillation may achieve survival rates as great as 70%.1 In Malaysia, CPR is taught to medical personnel, trainees, first-aiders, lifeguards and the police as well as the navy. The Malaysian Clinical Practice Guidelines on Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI)2 strongly urged the teaching of CPR to the general public. The authors wrote “About 30% of deaths due to AMI occur within the first hour; 60% of deaths occur outside the hospital. Thus the general public and the family of patients with CHD should learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation and basic life support.” (copied from article)


Mejicano GC, Maki DG. Infections acquired during cardiopulmonary resuscitation: estimating the risk and defining strategies for prevention. Ann Intern Med. 1998;129(10):813-8.

Robaayah Z (ed). Clinical Practice Guidelines on Acute Myocardial Infarction. Ministry of Health Malaysia, 2001.

UNAIDS. AIDS and HIV infection: Information for United Nations employees and their families. April 2000 (rev.1). Geneva, UNAIDS, 2000.

Bierens JJ, Berden HJ. Basic CPR and AIDS: are volunteer lifesavers prepared for a storm? Resuscitation. 1996;32:185-91.

Brenner BE, Van DC, Lazar EJ, Camargo CA. Determinants of physician reluctance to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. J Clin Epidemiol. 2000;53:1054-61.

Brenner BE, Kauffman J. Reluctance of internists and medical nurses to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Arch Intern Med. 1993;153(15):1763-9.

Brenner B, Stark B, Kauffman J. The reluctance of house staff to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in the inpatient setting: what are the considerations? Resuscitation. 1994;28:185-93.

Hew P, Brenner B, Kauffman J. Reluctance of paramedics and emergency medical technicians to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. J Emerg Med. 1997;15:279-84.

Kern KB, Hilwig RW, Berg RA, et al. Importance of continuous chest compressions during cardiopulmonary resuscitation: improved outcome during a simulated single lay-rescuer scenario. Circulation. 2002;105:645-9.

Berg RA. Role of mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing in bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation for asphyxial cardiac arrest. Crit Care Med. 2000;28(11 Suppl):N193-195.

Hazinski MF, Nadkarni VM, Hickey RW, et al. Major changes in the 2005 AHA guidelines for CPR and ECC: Reaching the tipping point for change. Circulation. 2005;112(24 Suppl):lV206-11.

Highlights of the 2005 American Heart Association guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency cardiovascular care. Currents in Emergency Cardiovascular Care. Winter 2005-2006;16(4).

Rosnah R, Fadhli Y, Zainal Ariffin O. Survey on first aid and CPR among health personnel in Malaysia. NCD Malaysia. 2005;4(4):3-10.

Sokol DK. Doctors’ first duty: Professional or personal? International Herald Tribune. 2005. October 21.

How to Cite
LiewS.-M. (2006). Cardiopulmonary resuscitation – would you do it?. Malaysian Family Physician, 1(2 & 3), 3. Retrieved from
Original Articles