Emerg Med J 30:74-75 doi:10.1136/emermed-2011-200528
  • Short reports

Rescuers may vary their side of approach to a casualty without impact on cardiopulmonary resuscitation performance

  1. Jonathan Hulme2
  1. 1School of Clinical & Experimental Medicine, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, Birmingham City Hospital, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Christopher M Jones, School of Clinical & Experimental Medicine, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK; cmj744{at}
  1. Contributors CMJ, CJT, PSC and JH jointly conceived and designed the study. Additional contributions to study design were made by GAB and AM. CMJ, CJT, PSC, GAB and AM recruited participants, and CMJ, CJT, PSC, GAB, AM and JH conducted the trial. Statistical analyses were performed by CMJ, CJT and GAB. CMJ, CJT and JH prepared the initial drafts of this manuscript. CMJ, CJT, PSC, GAB, AM and JH contributed to interpretation of the findings, and revision and approval of the final manuscript.

  • Accepted 21 November 2011
  • Published Online First 8 December 2011


Aim To determine whether cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) performance is influenced by a rescuer's preferred side of approach.

Methods Eighty-three first-year healthcare students were enrolled in a prospective randomised crossover study comparing chest compression quality during uninterrupted chest compression CPR after approach from both their preferred and non-preferred sides.

Results Chest compression quality was not dependent on rescuers' sidedness preference; neither mean compression rate and depth nor hand positioning differed between sides of approach.

Conclusions No link exists between the side from which a rescuer approaches, or prefers to approach, a casualty and chest compression quality.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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0.5% - 43% response rate
3% - 41% response rate
10% - 16% response rate

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