CPR: How long is to long?

Is extending the amount of time we perform CPR beneficial? Are we terminating efforts to early? Recent news and studies suggest the answer to these questions, are yes.

A 37-year-old Ohio man went into a cardiac last August. During this time, the patient had CPR performed on him for 45 minutes. During that time, he went into several cardiac rhythms, including PEA, and V-fib. When the emergency physicians called the code, the patient was in asystole. Five to seven minutes after CPR efforts were terminated, electrical activity was noticed on his ECG and resuscitation efforts were resumed. The man has recovered and has no known neurological problems. After the patient had a heart beat back, healthcare workers initiated therapeutic hypothermia, which may have played a large role is his excellent recovery.

Japanese researchers have found that even after 38 minutes of prolonged CPR, patients can have fantastic outcomes. They looked at 32,000 cardiac arrest survivors and found that 27% of those survivors had good brain function 30 days after their cardiac arrest. Of the 27%, those patients that had an average of 13 minutes of CPR did have better neurological function. However, there were favorable outcomes seen with as much as 38 minutes of CPR.

For the complete story of the Ohio man, check out his story on NBCnews.com