Background Compression-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has been advocated as a preferable approach for bystanders in an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) event as it has been associated with an increased chance of survival. The elimination of mouth-to-mouth ventilation also addresses some of the barriers to performing CPR. The aim of this study is to undertake a literature review investigating the effectiveness of compression-only CPR in improving rescuers’ CPR performance when compared with standard CPR.
Methods A literature search was conducted in the following databases: Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Science Direct, Scopus and PubMed from January 2003 to January 2014, to include research studies that compared compression-only CPR with standard CPR on participants above the age of 21, and reported quality of CPR performance as the primary outcome.
Findings Of the 3004 articles retrieved, 16 met the inclusion criteria. The reviewed studies revealed that compression-only CPR requires a shorter time to initiate CPR and delivers a higher number of total compressions. The depth of compressions in compression-only CPR performed may be shallower than that of standard CPR due to greater rescuer fatigue. It therefore remains inconclusive if compression-only CPR can deliver a higher number of adequate compressions over extended periods of time. It is also unclear if simplified CPR can improve skill retention level in the long run.
Conclusions More studies are needed to determine whether compression-only CPR can indeed help improve rescuers’ CPR performance. Future research efforts, together with resuscitation policy and practice implications, are needed to further improve rescuers’ CPR performance with the ultimate goal to enhance OHCA survival rates.
- resuscitation, effectiveness
- cardiac arrest
- first responders
- prehospital care
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Contributors I certified that all the authors of this paper have made substantial contribution to the research article. RKJM has contributed to the conception design of the study, search and review of articles, analysis and interpretation of the findings and drafting the article. SYL has contributed to the conception design of the study, search and review of articles, analysis and interpretation of the findings and critical revision of the article. VWX has contributed to the conception design of the study and critical revision of the article. SHL has contributed to the critical revision of the article. WTWS has contributed to the meta-analysis of the article.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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