Bystanders who perform CPR to drowning people can not only save lives, it can also increase the odds of a good recovery.

University of Southern California researchers analyzed the records of more than 900 children and adults, all experiencing cardiac arrest and who weren’t breathing after being underwater.

A positive neurological outcome was defined as good cerebral performance at hospital discharge and a negative one was defined as coma, vegetative state or death.

Near-drowning victims in cardiac arrest were three times more likely to have a favorable neurological outcome if bystanders performed CPR.

But the use of an automated external defibrillator, or AED, before the arrival of emergency services was associated with worse neurological conditions.

Researchers say this study adds to the evidence why everyone should learn CPR.