In order to bring you the best possible user experience, this site uses Javascript. If you are seeing this message, it is likely that the Javascript option in your browser is disabled. For optimal viewing of this site, please ensure that Javascript is enabled for your browser.
Did you know that your browser is out of date? To get the best experience using our website we recommend that you upgrade to a newer version. Learn more.

CPR for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest should be conducted for at least 35 minutes

London, UK – 30 Aug 2015: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest should be conducted for at least 35 minutes, according to research presented at ESC Congress today by Dr Yoshikazu Goto, associate professor and director of the Department of Emergency and Critical Care Medicine at Kanazawa University Hospital in Kanazawa, Japan.1 The study in more than 17 000 patients found that nearly all survivals were achieved within 35 minutes and longer CPR achieved little benefit.

Coronary Artery Disease, Acute Coronary Syndromes, Acute Cardiac Care

EMBARGO : 30 August 2015 at 11:09 BST

Dr Goto said: “The decision regarding when to stop resuscitation efforts is one of the biggest challenges for emergency medical services (EMS) personnel or clinicians. However, the appropriate duration of CPR is not clear. Clinicians have raised concerns that lengthy resuscitation efforts might be futile. We investigated how long CPR should be conducted to achieve maximum survival and favourable neurological outcome.”

This prospective, population-based study included 17 238 adults who received CPR by EMS personnel in the field in 2011 and 2012. Patient records were obtained from a national database. The researchers analysed the relationship between the duration of pre-hospital CPR by EMS personnel (time from EMS-initiated CPR to return of spontaneous circulation) and two endpoints: one month survival and one month favourable neurological outcome after cardiac arrest.

The study found that the probability of survival declined with each minute of CPR (Figure 1). It also showed that 99.1% of all survivors and 99.2% of survivors with favourable neurological outcomes achieved return of spontaneous circulation within 35 minutes of EMS-initiated CPR (Figure 2). No patient with a CPR duration of ≥53 minutes survived one month after cardiac arrest (Figure 2).

Dr Goto said: “Our study shows that EMS personnel or clinicians should continue CPR for at least 35 minutes in patients who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital. More than 99% of survivals and favourable neurological outcomes were achieved by 35 minutes with minimal gains afterwards. CPR leads to absolutely no benefit from 53 minutes onwards.”

“Our finding that the likelihood of surviving with a favourable neurological outcome declines with each minute of CPR indicates that the time from cardiac arrest to CPR is a crucial factor in determining whether a patient will return to a normal life,” added Dr Goto. “This implies that we need to start CPR as soon as possible.”

He concluded: “We hope our findings give EMS personnel and clinicians the confidence that if they stop CPR after 35 minutes they have done everything they can do for a patient. This should help them know when it is appropriate to move on to the next medical emergency.”


Figure 1. Dynamic probability of 1-month survival and 1-month favourable neurological outcomes

Figure 2. Cumulative proportion of survivors and survivors with favourable neurological outcomes 1 month after cardiac arrest




1Dr Goto will present the abstract ‘Duration of resuscitation efforts and survival after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: an observational study’ during:
•    The press conference ‘Cardiac Arrest: Improving Outcomes’ on Sunday 30 August at 14:30
•    The session ‘Syncope and sudden death’ on Sunday 30 August at 11:00 in the Agora, Poster Area (presentation at 11:09)

Notes to editor

SOURCES OF FUNDING: This work was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) KAKENHI grant number 15K08543.



ESC Press Office
For background information or assistance, please contact the ESC Press Office.
For independent comment on site or interviews, please contact the ESC spokesperson coordinator: +44 7785 467 947

About the European Society of Cardiology
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) represents more than 90 000 cardiology professionals across Europe and worldwide. Its mission is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in Europe.
About ESC Congress 2015
ESC Congress is the world’s largest and most influential cardiovascular event contributing to global awareness of the latest clinical trials and breakthrough discoveries. ESC Congress 2015 takes place 29 August to 2 September at ExCel London in London, UK. Access the scientific programme. More information is available from the ESC Press Office at

To access all the scientific resources from the sessions during the congress, visit ESC Congress 365.  

This press release accompanies both a presentation and an ESC press conference at the ESC Congress 2015. Edited by the ESC from material supplied by the investigators themselves, this press release does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Society of Cardiology. The content of the press release has been approved by the presenter.