While CPR's traditional combination of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chest compressions have saved many lives, a new study finds bystander CPR saved more lives when just chest pumps are performed.

Japanese scientists found that CPR recipients were actually more likely to survive with good brain function if they received hands-only or compression-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) compared with traditional CPR with chest compressions and rescue breathing.

"We would like to suggest that compression-only CPR should be the standard and conventional CPR with rescue breathing the option," said lead author Dr. Taku Iwami, a senior lecturer in the department of preventive services at Kyoto University School of Public Health, according to HealthDay.

Experts say that the latest findings are welcoming because many people hesitate to perform mouth-to-mouth breathing or cannot perform chest compressions and rescue breathing at the same time.

When a person suffers a cardiac arrest, their heart suddenly stops beating, often because of an abnormal heart rhythm. For the best chance of survival, patients must then receive immediate CPR and defibrillator shocks.

The study, published Dec. 10 in the journal Circulation, examined 1,376 Japanese patients who suffered sudden cardiac arrest between 2005 and 2009. In each of the cases, bystanders had witnessed the cardiac arrest and provided CPR and shocks from an automatic defibrillator (AED) to the patient.

Researchers said that about 37 percent of the patients received hands-over CPR and 63 percent received traditional CPR.

The study found that about a month after their cardiac arrest, about 46 percent of patients who received only chest compressions were still alive, compared to about 40 percent of those who received traditional CPR.

Furthermore, researchers found that more than 40 percent of people who received chest compressions alone retained good brain function, compared with 33 percent who received compressions and rescue breathing.

Researchers said latest findings suggest hands-only CPR is more effective than traditional CPR in emergency situations, adding that not only is hands-only CPR easier to learn, it is more comfortable to perform on a stranger.

"Rescue breathing is difficult for some people to perform and might interrupt chest compressions," he said, according to DailyRx. "Most victims don't receive any CPR, so we need to encourage chest-compression-only CPR and public access defibrillation programs."

According to the American Heart Association, people should perform hands-over CPR by pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest if they see an adult suddenly collapse. However, infants and children should receive traditional CPR that includes mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.