Health care professionals' willingness to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation

B. Zane Horowitz, Leona Matheny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


To assess the willingness of physicians and nurses with training in basic cardiac life support to provide mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in both hospital and out-of-hospital settings, we surveyed all attendees at a monthly advanced life support course over a 1-year period. Of 622 attendees, 379 (61%) responded to our survey describing a variety of cardiac arrest scenarios. Less than half of the participants surveyed were willing to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on an unknown adult, male or female, who had collapsed in a supermarket. Overall, the group was willing to do mouth-to- mouth resuscitation on victims known to them: their neighbors (84%), children at a pool (88%), spouses (94%), and parents (93%). In the hospital setting, knowing a patient's human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status greatly influenced the willingness to do mouth-to-mouth rescue. If a patient's HIV status was unknown, only a third of providers would do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation; if the HIV status was known to be negative, two thirds would do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (P < 0.002), Children in the hospital whose HIV status was unknown would receive mouth-to-mouth resuscitation by 57% of the respondents. Children known to be HIV-negative would be resuscitated by 79% of the respondents. Co-workers were more willing to resuscitate a known physician or nurse than an unknown co-worker, with physicians more willing than nurses to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on an unknown co-worker. A third of the group has performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation previously. Although an increased percentage of this subgroup was willing to provide mouth-to-mouth in all adult hospital scenarios, experienced providers of mouth-to-mouth wanted to receive mouth-to-mouth resuscitation less frequently (75%) than inexperienced providers (84%) (P = 0.02). The self-reported willingness to provide mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is influenced by patient characteristics; as the level of familiarity with the victim decreased, so did the willingness of the health care professional to do mouth-to-mouth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-397
Number of pages6
JournalWestern Journal of Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Health care professionals' willingness to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this