Targeting at-risk neighborhoods such as Detroit for CPR training could save lives

Researcher at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak explains difference of having cardiac arrest in Detroit versus suburbs


DETROIT – A new study by the American Heart Association suggests training everyone in CPR might not be as effective as trying to target training in high risk neighborhoods.

With one of the lowest survival rates for cardiac arrest, Detroit could be a prime target for CPR training.

"If a patient doesn't get CPR at all until EMS arrives, their chances of survival are poor, not zero but poor," said Dr. Robert Swor of Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.

Swor, a CPR researcher for Beaumont Hospital, said there is a significant difference in survival if someone has a cardiac arrest in Detroit compared to the suburbs.

For more information on the research go here.

"The city of Detroit showed a less than one percent survival rate. Studies done in the surrounding communities are eight to nine percent survival rates," said Swor.

Swor said one reason for the difference could be the likelihood of a bystander being able to perform CPR.   New research suggests it might be more effective to focus on training that life-saving skill to people living in high risk neighborhoods like Detroit.

Local 4's medical expert Dr. Frank McGeorge said CPR knowledge is important to everyone living in the metro Detroit area, not just those living in the city.  As an emergency doctor at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, he has treated people who have had a cardiac arrest at a casino, in their car on the freeway, at work or even at a sports venue.

Hopefully by finding the pockets with people at the greatest risk and training nearby people to do CPR, survival rates can improve.

For information on attending CPR classes or learn how to do CPR online, click here.