ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Cardiologists and ER doctors are re-thinking CPR and the best way to successfully keep a cardiac arrest patient alive.

The new thinking is no longer make mouth-to-mouth resuscitation mandatory for CPR, instead opting for “Hands-Only CPR.”

SLU Care cardiologist Dr. Michael Lim at SSM Health SLU Hospital says too many people either say mouth-to-mouth is too complicated, or they’re afraid of picking up an infectious disease.

And it turns out doing only the chest compressions is just as effective, if not more effective, than the traditional CPR method.

“If you actually use your hands and you’re not intimidated by doing it, and you call 911, we actually could potentially dramatically improve the survival of people who have this concept of cardiac arrest, where their heart stops beating,” Lim says.

More than 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests will die, and 70 percent of all cases happen at home.

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