Is fear of contracting the coronavirus effecting the willingness of bystanders to initiate CPR in incidents of cardiac arrest?

Bystander CPR is a critical part of the Chain of Survival for out of hospital cardiac arrest victims (cases in which the patient’s heart has stopped beating).

In 2019, the percentage of MedStar’s cardiac arrest responses receiving bystander CPR was 55.7%

However, data analyzed by the Office of the Medical Director reveals that for the months of May through October 2020, the average of number cardiac arrest cases in which a bystander initiated CPR was only 39%, a 30.4% decrease in the number of MedStar cardiac arrest cases in which the victim received bystander CPR.

In November 2020, cardiac arrest victims treated by MedStar crews pronounced dead on scene was up 32.9% from 2019.

The American Heart Association recommends that if an adult’s heart stops, and you are worried that they may have COVID-19, you can still help by performing Hands-Only CPR.