Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) done with only chest compressions helps save more lives than the traditional mouth to mouth resuscitation according to a recent study.

Researchers found that using the hands only technique on adults who had a cardiac arrest outside a hospital were 60% more likely to survive than if they received traditional mouth to mouth CPR or no CPR.

"I am really optimistic that this is going to help move the needle on bystander CPR across the country," said Dr. Bentley J. Bobrow, medical director of Arizona's Bureau of Emergency Medical Services & Trauma System in Phoenix, who was part of the study.

Bystanders are encouraged by the American Heart Association to give compression-only CPR when they don’t want to perform mouth to mouth resuscitation.

According to Bobrow, only approximately a third of people who suffer cardiac arrest in the U.S. receive bystander CPR.

As many as 300,000 Americans suffer cardiac arrests outside a hospital each year. The survival stats vary but remain consistently low.

The study findings are published in the October 6 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.